Hearing of corruption references adjourned till Jan 16


ISLAMABAD: Accountability Court adjourned the corruption references against the Sharif family till January 16 and summoned three witnesses to appear before the court in the next hearing.

The court started today’s proceedings recording the statement of Sidra Mansoor, a senior official of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, in the Al Azizia reference.

Later on, she was cross-examined by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris.

She presented record of Hussain Nawaz’s company Mehran Ramzan Textile Mills.

Later, two other witnesses in Al Azizia reference – Tasleem Khan and Mohammad Zubair – also got their statement recorded.

Umar Draz Gondal who is a witness in Avenfield reference did not appear in court due to his ill health.

The court summoned three more witnesses of prosecution – Umar Daraz, Afaq Ahmed, and Nasir Junejo for the next hearing.

It should be mentioned here that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have filed three corruption references in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 ruling in the Panama Papers case.

The NAB court heard the cases including the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and London’s Avenfield properties.

In today’s proceedings, six more witnesses were to get their statements recorded before the bench as three witnesses had already done so in the previous hearing on January 2.

The NAB filed a total of three references against the Sharif family and another against the then-Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The apex court granted six months to the NAB to complete its inquiry and submit the report. The deadline is just a couple of weeks ahead.

Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and son-in-law are named in the London properties reference.

In the previous hearing, the NAB court approved the couple’s bail in the Avenfield properties case against surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

The court bound Captain Safdar to take its permission before leaving the country. Meantime, the couple was given the copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes.

Talking to media after the hearing, Nawaz Sharif, throwing barbs at Imran Khan said, “He (Imran Khan) has sat behind a curtain after disgracing a family–now the children of that family are giving explanations