Court permits NAB to present new documents against Nawaz in Flagship reference

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court accepted the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to bring forward new documents against former premier Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship Investment reference.

Earlier today, Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik had reserved his decision on the NAB plea after hearing arguments of Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris.

However, later the court rejected the reservations of Nawaz’s counsel and permitted NAB to present new documents.

Earlier during the hearing, Haris opposed NAB’s plea and said, “NAB’s Zahir Shah had corresponded with the UK Central Authority and he has appeared before the court as a witness. Why were these documents not presented when Shah appeared?”
At this, NAB deputy prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said, “We mentioned in the supplementary reference that we will provide documents after receiving answers.”
Haris then said, “If they present new documents then they should also present related witnesses.”
Further, the court remarked, “NAB has not mentioned the relation between the documents and the Flagship investigation. The court cannot assume on its own the relation between the documents and the investigation officer.”
“Why are these documents being presented eight months later?” the judge asked.

The trial

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