News Analysis |
The head of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Wajid Zia appeared before the accountability court yet again. He was supposed to be cross examined by counsel for Nawaz Khawaja Haris on March 28, 2018. Wajid Zia has completed in recording his statement as prosecution witness against the Sharif family in Panamagate saga.
Apart from other developments the head of JIT made it clear that there was not a single document where ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been declared the owner of Avenfield flats at any given time. This is the one reply of Zia to a question asked by Nawaz’s counsel but many people in print and electronic quoted him without properly mentioning the context. Zia made it clear that Nawaz Sharif was not an owner of the flats but he did not challenge or negate the conclusions drawn in findings of Panama Papers JIT’s report and observations made by honorable judges in the final judgement of the Supreme Court.
Nawaz Sharif also mentioned that he was not going to leave the country, but should be able to see his ailing wife in London. Nawaz Sharif and his daughter have been critical of the apex court and NAB for initiating corruption against them, for someone’s vested interests.
The defence counsel was also informed by Zia that the JIT had not directly communicated with the law firm Mossack Fonseca. The counsel for Nawaz Sharif also asked Zia if there was any documents showing a Pakistani institution approaching British Virgin Islands Financial Investigation Agency (BVI FIA) regarding this matter. On this the JIT head responded as “no, there is no document showing that any institution writing to the BVI FIA”. He also made it clear that a letter was sent by the JIT to the BVI FIA in order to seek certification of correspondence between the agency and Mossack Fonseca in June 2012.
It was also confirmed by Zia that he had not come across any document naming Nawaz as a registered director, nominee director or shareholder of Nelson and Nescol companies. The Judge adjourned the case till Thursday (Today), and Nawaz’s counsel will resume the cross-examination.
Reaction of Nawaz Sahrif
The ousted PM Nawaz address media personnel after appearing before the accountability court on Wednesday. He seemed confident and a little more charged while bashing the JIT head. He asserted that the prosecutions ‘star witness’ Wajid Zia’s testimony has “washed away all the allegations against us.”
Nawaz Sharif also told the media that this ‘Tamasha’ (circus) was not going last long, as the case against him was a ‘fraud’. He also said that “many forces are a part of this fraud against me and my family.”
Zia made it clear that Nawaz Sharif was not an owner of the flats but he did not challenge or negate the conclusions drawn in findings of Panama Papers JIT’s report and observations made by honorable judges in the final judgement of the Supreme Court.
Nawaz also warned his opponents who registered the case against him, saying they must be embarrassed now. He also pointed out that it was the wish of his political rivals topunish him but “we cannot be punished in this case,” he asserted. He maintained his position with claims of innocence. All cases against him, he established, were merely political motivated tactics to punish him for his beliefs in democratic ideals.
It is important to mention here that Nawaz Sharif has been a “selective democrat” who only wants democracy to flourish but feels hesitant to appear before the court to prove his innocence. He, on the contrary, is criticizing and verbally attacking the state institutions including the judiciary and NAB.
Nawaz Sharif also mentioned that he was not going to leave the country, but should be able to see his ailing wife in London.
Nawaz Sharif and his daughter have been critical of the apex court and NAB for initiating corruption against them, for someone’s vested interests. Although the JIT did find various disparities what Nawaz had and the amount of their accumulated wealth yet Nawaz Sharif is using ‘victim card’ against the institutions.