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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Accountability court hears the NAB references against Nawaz Sharif

News Analysis |

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Counsel Khawaja Harris, continued his cross-examination of star witness and head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Wajid Zia, today, in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references. Accountability court II Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik resumed hearing of the two remaining corruption references, after Tuesday’s lengthy session. During the hearing, Khawaja Harris and Wajid Zia, again, exchanged the heated verbal blows.

Khawaja remarked that Zia was grilled because of his dishonesty. These provoking remarks from Nawaz’s counsel angered NAB’s deputy prosecutor, Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi who raised objections over the use of inappropriate terms. Even, Judge Malik raised the objection over Khawaja’s tactics of repeatedly asking the same question from Zia.

The Islamabad High Court is yet to announce the reserved verdict on the appeals a filed by the “house of Nawaz” against the Avenfield judgment.

Moreover, Judge Malik instructed Wajid Zia to avoid any unnecessary details during the discussions, to which Zia replied that in English language, even a comma matters. On Tuesday, Khawaja termed Zia a dishonest man which prompted a protest from latter, leading the Nawaz’s counsel to retract his statement.

On August 27, CJP headed a three-judge bench comprising of Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan which ordered a six-week extension in the deadline for concluding the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references. It was the fifth extension, since, the start of the trial against ‘house of Nawaz’ on September 14, 2017, after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif on July 28, 2017.

Read more: NAB contemplates on airlifting Nawaz, Maryam from airport to Adiala Prison

The authorities brought Nawaz to the accountability court in the convoy of 23-vehicles, this morning. Currently, the court is running the two references simultaneously, and twin-verdict will be announced in both references.

The court is yet to record the statements of star-witness Wajid Zia and the investigation officer in Flagship reference, while, in Al-Azizia reference, Wajid’s cross-examination is continuing and the investigation officer has partially recorded his statement. After this, accused Nawaz and his sons [who are now absconders] would have to record their statements. And, finally, both the prosecution and defense would argue over the case.

Read more: Convicts in Avenfield reference to be arrested upon arrival: NAB

Nawaz’s sons, Hussain and Hasan have been declared proclaimed offenders for not appearing before the court. Both the brothers were accused in all the references along with their father. Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court is yet to announce the reserved verdict on the appeals a filed by the “house of Nawaz” against the Avenfield judgment.