Friday, 24 November, 2017

Hearing of NAB references against former PM Nawaz, family adjourns till Wednesday

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz
Melinda Barton | 15 November, 2017, 11:36

Complaining about dual standard of justice, Maryam said all standards of justice were for the Sharif family since the court was in hurry to take a decision against Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers, resulting in his ouster as the premier.

Nawaz Sharif stated that he has to look after his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz in London; therefore, he should be granted the leniency for one week.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir had earlier reserved the verdict in both the applications.

The court officially began hearing of the NAB references today to record statements from witnesses including Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) officer Sidra Mansur and Federal Bureau Revenue's Jahangir Ahmad.

During the hearing, Mansoor testified that she had provided NAB with the 2000-2005 audit report of Hudaibiya Paper Mills. Four witnesses have been summoned for the next hearing.

Two prosecution witness statements were recorded against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Muhammad Safdar in an accountability court as a trial pertaining to three National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against them went underway on Wednesday. "We are striving against these double standards and will take this struggle to its logical end".

Despite the light rain in the capital, several workers and leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were in and outside the court complex to welcome the party chief.

Also on Tuesday, the bench had rejected a miscellaneous application of the former prime minister seeking to restrain the trial court from proceeding in the NAB references until his application is decided.

The Pakistan Supreme Court had asked the NAB to file references against the Sharif family in connection with their Avenfield and other properties on July 28 and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.

Nawaz and his two sons, Hussain and Hasan, are nominated in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and her husband MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are only accused in one.

The former premier's family has time and again rejected the allegations and told the court "all corruption charges are based on lies".

The three references related to the Sharif family's London flats, Flagship Investment Ltd and Al Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment.

NAB's Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the almost dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.