- Zia submits letters from Qatari royal, financial statements of Flagship Investments from 2002-2016
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) witness Wajid Zia on Tuesday submitted documents collected by Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) as evidence in the Flagship corruption reference against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif.
As the hearing went underway, Zia, who was heading the JIT, appeared before the accountability court and submitted the financial statements of Flagship Investments dating from 2002 to 2016. He also presented letters from Qatari Royal Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani which, he claimed, were sent to the JIT by Director of the Foreign Secretary’s Office Afaq Ahmed. The letter also held the Qatari prince’s seal.
Following this, Sharif’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, objected to the letter and said that Ahmed had appeared before the court but had not submitted the letter.
Moreover, Accountability Judge Arshad Malik said that Zia should make a list of the documents that he wished to submit in court as evidence and give it to Haris in a portable hard drive so that Sharif’s counsel could note its objections and submit them in court in order to save time.
Nawaz Sharif also appeared before the court for the hearing but was allowed to leave midway during the hearing.
According to the charge-sheet the former premier told the JIT that he was a shareholder in 15 companies, including Flagship Invest¬ments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE, Dubai.
The charge-sheet further read that “the record of assets submitted by Nawaz for Hassan from 1990-1995.”
Earlier, in the Flagship Investment reference, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia and the investigation officer are yet to appear before the court to record their statements in the case.
On August 27, SC had directed accountability court to conclude the trial within six weeks.
The Supreme Court had initially set a six-month deadline to conclude the four corruption references against the Sharif family.
In 2017, the trial against the Sharif family commenced, following which, on July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.