Avenfield reference: Court reserves verdict on NAB’s plea
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – An accountability court (AC) on Tuesday reserved verdict on National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea seeking to make the additional documents part of the record. The accountability court (AC) judge Muhammad Bashir was conducting hearing of the Avenfield reference filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared before the court amid tight security. In today’s proceedings, Wajid Zia, former head of joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court over Panamagate case, completed his statement on third hearing, while the defense lawyer cross examined the prosecution witness. The NAB prosecutor filed a request appealing the court make three new documents part of the record. The documents include a letter from the attorney general of British Virgin Islands to Zia. The court reserved the judgemnet on the plea submitted by the NAB prosecutor. In the previous hearing, the accountability court Judge had rejected the plea of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam for exemption from appearance in the Avenfield reference. On the other hand, the statement of JIT chief Wajid Zia could not be a completed. Previously, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three cases of corruption and money laundering against Sharif, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court following the verdict. The anti-graft body NAB had frozen the bank accounts and seized properties of Sharif and his family members to put pressure on them to appear before the court. The Sharifs have denied any wrongdoing and have labeled the corruption proceedings against them as politically motivated. Two of Nawaz’s sons are also due to appear before the NAB court, along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Nawaz was disqualified by the Supreme Court in July for not declaring a source of income that he disputes receiving. Pakistan’s top court also ordered a wide-ranging NAB investigation and trial into Sharif family members. The Supreme Court specified that the trial be concluded within six months by NAB, which has in the past been derided as toothless because rich and powerful politicians were seldom convicted.