ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a supplementary reference regarding the Avenfield property case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family in the accountability court.
According to the NAB, the new supplementary reference has new evidence against the ousted prime minister and seven new prosecution witnesses.
The fresh evidence includes TV interviews given by Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and his two sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
The reference also features seven new witnesses, including Britain-based forensic expert Robert Radley and a close relative of Wajid Zia — who headed the joint investigation team that probed the Panama Papers case.
Also listed as witnesses are two officials from the Ministry of Information, two from NAB and one from a private TV channel.
Robert Radley and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director Wajid Zia’s initial statement have been taken by NAB in the UK.
According to the NAB, two of the witnesses belong to a private media channel, while two others are NAB employees.
The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against the then-finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.
The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.
The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties, and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.
Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfield properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.
Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes — to Maryam and Safdar.
NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.
Its Lahore branch prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.
If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.