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Avenfield reference: Nawaz, Maryam appear before NAB court

Avenfield reference: Nawaz, Maryam appear before NAB court

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared before Accountability Court (AC) on Thursday in Avenfield reference.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three interim references against Sharif family in light of Supreme Court’s Panama Papers verdict of July 28. The anti-graft watchdog has recently filed three supplementary references as well.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Wajid Zia who headed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), established by Supreme Court to probe Sharif family’s assets, will resume recording his statement and submit the documents.

On the last hearing on March 20, Nawaz’s lawyer filed a petition seeking clarity on what Zia can submit. A day later, the court ruled that Zia could not comment on whether the defendant was accused and the court will form its own judgement, independent of Zia’s statement.

While talking to media outside the accountability court, the former premier said that he cannot understand why NAB is trying to put his and his families names in ECL. “The person who pulled out the country from darkness by ending the load shedding, why is he being treated like this,” he asked.

Commenting on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) politics, Nawaz said that there is definitely change in Imran’s politics as he used to do rallies in grounds and now he is conducting them streets. “The politics of PPP has also disappointed me and now there will be no talks regarding interim prime minister with them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam have submitted the application seeking exemption from next week’s hearing. The court has reserved the verdict.

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against the then-finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties, and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfield properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.