Defence concludes cross-examination of Wajid Zia in Al-Azizia reference | Pakistan Today

Defence concludes cross-examination of Wajid Zia in Al-Azizia reference

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s defence counsel Khawaja Haris on Tuesday concluded his cross-examination of Panama Papers case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik, who conducted the hearing of the corruption reference against Nawaz Sharif, summoned Mehboob Alam, NAB’s investigation officer to record his statement on September 27.

During the cross-examination, Wajid deposed that an amount of 6.5 million pounds was sent to the United Kingdom from Saudi Arabia. “Nawaz’s son Hussain Nawaz admitted before the JIT that 5 million pounds were returned in 2006 for investment in the Hill Metal Establishment company, however, no evidence in that regard was collected,” he added.

Wajid Zia said that in some documents the company’s name was mentioned as Hill Metal Industry; the accused, however, had written Hill Metal Establishment as the company’s name in the documents submitted before the apex court.

Judge Arshad Malik remarked that there was no dispute over the company’s name in the corruption reference. But Khawaja Haris said it was a “big issue”.

The judge asked the JIT head to inform the court approximately in how many documents the company’s name was mentioned as Hill Metal Establishment.

To another query, Zia said the JIT did not find any documents that showed Hussain Nawaz as a defaulter. “The JIT didn’t ask Hussain about the difference between Hill Metal Establishment and Modern Industry for HME,” he added.

He said Hussain Nawaz had told the team that the money collected from the sale of Al-Azizia Steel Mills was also used for the establishment of HME.

The court adjourned the hearing till September 27.



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