Wednesday, February 07, 2018

My hands are clean, claims Nawaz after accountability court hearing

Former PM, family face three corruption references filed by NAB in light of Supreme Court's Panama Papers case ruling


ISLAMABAD: The accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family concluded the day's hearing on Wednesday afternoon. 

Nawaz, while speaking to Geo News, said he has appeared before courts on a regular basis and claimed his hands are clean. 

The deposed prime minister, while leaving the accountability court premises, further claimed that he has never indulged in corrupt practices and never committed any crime.

Nawaz, once again, expressed his bewilderment at the corruption references registered against him.  

During today's hearing, Mohammad Abdul Wahid, a director general at the federal information ministry, recorded his statement in court. 

Nawaz and daughter Maryam arrived in the capital from Lahore earlier today and reached the court along with senior party leaders and government officials.  

The hearing was then adjourned until February 13. 

Nawaz's son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar was also present in court. 

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three corruption references against the Sharif family in September last year in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. The references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

At the hearing on Friday, the court had approved NAB's plea to record statements of the two UK-based witnesses via video link in the Avenfield reference.

In the Avenfield case, wherein Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar stand accused, NAB had submitted on January 22 a supplementary reference revealing new evidence and witnesses — including two UK-based individuals.

At the Jan 30 hearing, Nawaz's counsel Khawaja Harris had objected to the NAB's supplementary reference in the Avenfield case, arguing that there is nothing new in it.

However, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir turned down his request to dismiss the supplementary reference and approved it for hearing. 

On Wednesday (today), Maryam challenged the court’s order dismissing their petition against the video recording of the UK-based witnesses.