–Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar can’t be named in ECL without court’s order: ministry
–Supplementary references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments cases
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday filed the supplementary references in Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment cases against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons, while requesting the Interior Ministry to place the names of Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Earlier, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal had approved the filing of supplementary references against the Sharif family.
According to reports, eight new witnesses in each reference, as well as fresh evidence gathered against the Sharif family has been made part of the supplementary references.
NAB dispatched two letters to the Interior Ministry on Wednesday, one asking for Nawaz Sharif to be placed on ECL with regard to the Azizia Mills, Flagship, and Avenfield properties references. In the second letter, the anti-graft watchdog requested the ministry to place Maryam Nawaz and her husband Safdar on ECL as both are accused in the Avenfield properties reference.
A day earlier, Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar had requested the accountability court to grant them two-week exemption from attending any hearings.
In the appeal, Maryam’s lawyer, Advocate Amjad Pervez, had said that it was important for the appellants to go to London in order to visit the former premier’s wife Kulsoom, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Also on Tuesday, Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir issued a notice to NAB over the delay in the filing of supplementary references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment cases.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the NAB Rawalpindi on February 10, to record his statements in two supplementary references — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship investments — that are yet to be filed in the accountability court.
Nawaz was summoned by the Rawalpindi NAB headquarters that is now being headed by Irfan Mangi, a member of the Panama Papers leaks Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court to probe corruption allegations against the Sharif family.
NAWAZ, MARYAM, SAFDAR CAN’T BE NAMED IN ECL WITHOUT COURT’S ORDER: MINISTRY
Responding to the NAB’s request of naming former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar in the Exit Control List (ECL) the interior ministry has said that the inclusions are done “only on courts’ orders”.
While a press release issued by the ministry stated that the bureau’s request could not be entertained until “a court orders so”, speaking to a private media outlet, Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal said that a decision would be taken in accordance with the law after he returns from his trip to Norway.
Meanwhile, Tallal Chaudhry said that according to the constitution of Pakistan no one could be barred from leaving the country without a reason.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had been attending all court hearings and the court would have directed for such an action if there would have been an issue, he added.
Tallal further said that the issue would be reviewed to see if it aims to target a person or is permitted by the law.
‘ANSWERABLE TO COURTS’
Reacting to NAB’s plea, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that the bureau should not target those who were facing trials and the Sharif family held itself “answerable before the courts”.
Saying that there have been times during the trials when the family members appeared before the courts twice in a day, the senator said the Sharifs had flown out of Pakistan and returned for court hearings multiple times since the trials began.
Labeling NAB’s request “an effort to influence the accountability court’s verdict” the former information minister further said the ruling PML-N party brought back politicians who considered themselves above courts’ orders.
A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.
The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.
The former premier and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.