Capt (retd) Safdar records statement in Avenfield reference

Capt (retd) Safdar records statement in Avenfield reference

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar is expected to record his statement before accountability court today in the Avenfield reference.

The Avenfield reference, pertaining to the Sharifs' London properties, is among three filed against the family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year on the Supreme Court's directives. 

Safdar, his wife Maryam Nawaz and father-in-law Nawaz Sharif appeared before the court of accountability judge Muhammad Bashir.

The father and daughter left the court shortly after marking their attendance.  

Both Maryam and Nawaz have already recorded their statements in the reference. 

'Didn't want family around while I record statement'

During the break in court proceedings, a journalist asked Safdar why none of the members of Sharif family stayed back for his testimony. He replied: "It was my decision to not have any family member around while I record my statement."

When another journalist asked why his wife Maryam Nawaz left the court. He said that he has spent the last 25 years of his life with Maryam. "Mian Sahab needs her more than I do."

Maryam denies ownership of London flats 

At the last hearing on Monday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz denied being the beneficial owner of London flats and offshore companies Nielsen and Nescoll while testifying before the court.

Maryam remarked that she never took any financial advantage from these companies. Moreover, she shared that she has nothing to do with 25% shares of Gulf Steel Mills, Al-Taufiq case, and settlement worth Rs12 million.

Maryam said that the Capital FZE documents don't concern her, adding that the documents were submitted with ‘despicable purposes’.

During court proceedings, Maryam remarked that the letters which were used as evidence against Sharif family cannot be made part of court records. The two letters she mentioned include one which was submitted by Joint Investigation Team Head Wajid Zia on July 3, 2017, and other by Mossack Fonseca dated June 22, 2012.

While referring to the JIT letter, she explained that the way letter was sent to JIT was quite suspicious and not according to the law. “There is no truth in letter attained from the private firm."

Moreover, with regards to the Mossack Fonseca letter, she shared that she was denied the right to cross-examine the witness who penned down the letter.

The corruption cases

The National Accountability Bureau has in total filed three references against the Sharif family in light of the Supreme Court's orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, 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 Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The court originally had a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court.

Later, on May 9, the trial court's second plea for a deadline extension was approved by the Supreme Court which gave a month to both sides to finish the corruption cases.