ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Wednesday allowed Nawaz Shairf exemption to appear before the court for seven days.
Ousted premier Nawaz Sharif had earlier appeared before the accountability court along with daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt Safdar for the hearing of the Avenfield flats corruption reference, along with two others, filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Nawaz Sharif had submitted two pleas to the court. The ousted premier and his daughter requested that they be exempted from appearing in court the week after November 20 which will be spent in the company of his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who he has “been with for 40 years now”. The duo nominated Jahangir Jadoon as Maryam’s representative in her absence.
Accepting the plea, the court exempted Nawaz to appear before the court for seven days and allowed the same exemption to Maryam for a month.
The court officially began hearing of the NAB references today to record statements from witnesses including Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) officer Sidra Mansur and Federal Bureau Revenue’s Jahangir Ahmad. The trial will be presided upon by Justice Muhammad Bashir.
As trial proceedings began, Sidra Mansur, Deputy Registrar of Companies, SECP, recorded her statement in the Avenfield flats reference.
Mansur stated that the audit report of Hudaibiya Mills from 2000-2005 has been submitted to the accountability court which has forwarded it to NAB. “The documents have my signature and thumb print on them,” she added.
The documents submitted today shall be put under scrutiny to assess their authenticity. A NAB prosecutor was quick to point out, “These are photocopies and not the original document” to which the SECP officer claimed that all had been submitted.
The hearinf was adjourned till November 22.
Speaking to the reporters after the hearing, the former premier underscored that the PML-N will continue working to end the courts’ dual standards.
“Accountability is being controlled by someone else and we are only being punished. This is not accountability but revenge,” he said without elaborating.
Nawaz further said that he was framed in the hijack case in the 1999 case and was being framed again.
“The Supreme Court remarks in the Panamagate case were similar to our political opponents,” he said adding that those remarks were not a judgement but a clear message to NAB to punish him [Nawaz].
Other Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leaders including Tariq Fatemi, Saad Rafique, Talal Chaudhry and Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present during the hearing.
On November 8, the accountability court held that there will be three references and three trials together instead of one joint trial. While turning down Sharif’s request to conduct a single trial, the court had held that Sharif would stand trial separately in three NAB references.
Subsequently, the judge had formally indicted the ousted premier, his daughter and son in-law. They had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all the charges.
Hasan and Hussain Nawaz case
The accountability court hearing the Sharif family’s cases adjourned the case till November 22.
The court has already issued directions for attaching their assets as detailed so far by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
On Tuesday, NAB presented a compliance report pursuant to a “proclamation order” passed by the court on October 9. Three NAB investigation officers – Mehboob Alam, Imran Dogar, and Muhammad Kamran – recorded their statements yesterday and gave details of four bank accounts in the name of Hussain.
The report said that Hussain has €4,272, $3,992, £207.53 and Rs382,381 in the respective accounts, or the equivalent of Rs978,449 in total.
It added that replies from Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) said that both the housing schemes have no record of any properties of the two accused. “We are still waiting for a reply from Bahria and the Lahore deputy commissioner,” the NAB officers said on Tuesday.
In their statements, the investigation officers informed the court that they had visited the brothers’ known residences in Model Town and Jati Umra in Lahore, affixed the proclamation order outside both, and in other prominent places, and publicly read out the court orders as well.