Wajid Zia to record statement in Avenfield properties case against Nawaz, family today

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court conducting corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family resumed the Avenfield properties reference hearing today.

As the hearing went under way, Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar appeared in court.

Nawaz and Maryam requested the court to allow them to be exempted from today’s hearing. Approving their request, Judge Mohammad Bashir adjourned the hearing until 10am when former Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) head Wajid Zia will record his statement.

At the last hearing of the reference on March 8, the court had rejected Zia’s request to make the entire JIT report part of the case and directed him to record his statement regarding material related to the Avenfield properties only.

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.

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.