Zia claims Sharif children failed to ‘come clean’ on trust deed

  • Zia tells court Maryam and Hussain’s statements were contradictory to contents of ‘fake’ trust deed of Nielson and Nescol companies

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family on Monday directed Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia to present details of mutual legal assistance (MLAs) documents sent to British Virgin Island (BVI) seeking record related to the Nielson and Nescol companies in Avenfield case.

The case— based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28’s verdict in Panama Papers case, pertains to the Sharif family’s London apartments.

It is pertinent to mention here that Wajid Zia had earlier presented seven MLAs documents in the accountability court after the court had directed the JIT head to approach the apex court for obtaining the JIT report’s Volume X.

During the proceedings, the court also granted one-day exemption to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz from appearance as they couldn’t reach Islamabad due to inclement weather.

In the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, Maryam Nawaz’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz continued to cross-examine Wajid Zia, who is the main prosecution witness in the reference.  In response to a question, Zia stated that there was a contradiction between the statement of Maryam Nawaz and contents of trust deed of Nielson and Nescol. The trust deed was fake according to JIT’s analysis, he said.

The JIT head informed the court that Hussein Nawaz also couldn’t give clear answer on question regarding the beneficiary ownership of Nielson and Nescol during the period of 1994 to 1996.

However, Amjad Pervaiz accused Zia of hiding the real facts during the proceedings. To a query, He said that the JIT didn’t find any document showing Maryam Nawaz had paid ground rent of apartments or fees of any service provider.  Later, the JIT head informed the court that the BVI officials had sought more information through e-mail to answer MLA. However, the reply was not mentioned in the JIT report.

The court directed JIT head to present the MLAs record and adjourned the case till Tuesday.

During the last hearing, Wajid Zia had admitted that there was no evidence pointing to deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam’s involvement in the incorporation of Nielson and Nescol offshore companies.

Maryam and Safdar’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz began the twelfth cross-examination session of the JIT head, inquiring about the owner of Avenfield properties before it came under the possession of Nielson and Nescol. Zia had replied that the team had not investigated prior ownership before its transfer to the two companies.

On Wednesday, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris concluded Zia’s cross-examination in the Avenfield case.

After Harris concluded his cross-examination, Maryam’s counsel began his cross-examination.



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