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Tuesday Mar 27 2018

Wajid Zia completes recording statement in Avenfield reference against Sharifs


ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case investigation team which probed the Sharif family's assets, finished recording his statement in the Avenfield case against the Sharif family today. 

An accountability court is hearing three corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

Accountability Judge Muhammad Basheer is conducting the proceedings of the reference in which Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar have been indicted. 

The former premier reached the accountability court earlier with his family.

As Zia resumed recording his statement for the fifth time, he informed the court that Nawaz's elder son Hussain owned the Avenfield flats from 1993 to 1996. 

When Maryam's counsel Amjad Pervez objected to the claim, Zia said Hussain had informed the JIT of the same so the fact cannot be disputed. 

Zia also asserted that the signed documents submitted to the JIT by Nawaz's children were bogus. 

During the hearing, NAB prosecutors also submitted a request in court to be allowed to submit the Qatari letter and two other documents as evidence. The documents include a letter from the attorney general of British Virgin Islands to Zia. 

The request was accepted by the court after a brief recess. 

Later, as Zia concluded his statement, the hearing was adjourned until noon tomorrow, when Nawaz's counsel Khawaja Haris will begin his cross-examination of the witness. 

Nawaz and his family were earlier allowed to leave the courtroom. 

The cases

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.

The corruption references, filed against the Sharif family, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are 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. 

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