Accountability court hearing Flagship supplementary reference against Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family is hearing the Flagship supplementary reference case today.

Nawaz arrived in Islamabad from Lahore earlier this morning and reached the court where he asked for an exemption from appearance owing to his ill health.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Tariq Fatemi and Amir Muqam had reached the Federal Judicial Complex earlier to welcome their leader.

After the court allowed Nawaz to skip today’s proceedings, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris began cross-examination of witness¬†Abdul Hannan, who had recorded his statements at the last hearing.

The court has summoned three witnesses today to record their statements.

The hearing is under way.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three interim 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 bureau recently filed supplementary references in all three cases as well.

At the last hearing on March 2, when the court heard all three references, three witnesses recorded their statements in the Flagship and Al Azizia references.

The corruption cases

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.
In the Al Azizia and Flagship supplementary references, submitted in court on February 14, NAB had included eight new witnesses, as well as new evidence, including details of offshore companies of Hasan and Hussain.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.