- Nawaz’s counsel cross-examines Wajid Zia in Al-Azizia reference as court reserves judgement in Avenfield case
ISLAMABAD: The verdict against Nawaz Sharif is going to be announced on July 6 as the Accountability Court on Tuesday completed the proceedings in the Avenfield reference against Nawaz Sharif and his family and reserved judgement in the case.
Sharifs are facing three corruption references-Avenfield Properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments-filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in which they are accused of money laundering, hiding offshore assets and tax evasion.
As the hearing resumed earlier in the day, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris began cross-questioning NAB’s main witness and Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia.
The accountability court summoned Zia on June 29 during the hearing of Avenfield reference.
During the cross-examination, NAB prosecutor objected, asking why Khawaja Haris is asking the questions about those documents that were not part of the case record.
Nawaz’s defence lawyer contended that in his testimony Wajid Zia made them “hear such a long story” and now NAB is asking not to ask questions.
The hearing was later adjourned till Wednesday when the cross-examination will resume.
Meanwhile, the court will also resume hearing the Avenfield reference on Tuesday where Maryam Nawaz’s lawyer, Amjad Pervaiz, will continue his concluding remarks.
Nawaz and Maryam had been given exemption from appearing in the cases as they are in London tending Kulsoom Nawaz.
NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.
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.
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.