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Court exempts Nawaz from today’s hearing of Al Azizia, Flagship supplementary references | Pakistan

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Tribunal, which initiates corruption cases against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, began hearing additional references to Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment Ltd.

The National Accountability Office (NAB) last September filed three interim certificates of corruption against the Sharif family in the light of the verdict of the Supreme Court of July 28 in the Panamanian papers case. Recently he submitted additional references in all three cases.

As the hearing began, the court was informed that Nawaz's chief lawyer, Khawaja Harris, was engaged in the Supreme Court and would be able to join the trial until 13:00.

Nawaz's Secondary Council Aisha Hamid pleaded before Judge Mohammad Bashir that her client should be freed from appearing again.

The NAB prosecutor opposed the plea, stating that the accused should be present when witnesses record statements in accordance with the law.

However, the judge accepted the application and postponed the hearing until 1 pm, when the eight witnesses mentioned in the additional references will write down their statements.

When the hearing resumed, witness Navedereur Rehman began to write down his statement.

During the recording of the statement, Harris and the NAB prosecutor exchanged heated arguments in connection with the "constant interference" of the NAB prosecutor.

Corruption cases

Corruption references against the Sharif family relate to Al-Azizia Steel and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Ltd and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and sons Hussein and Hasan are accused of all three references, while his daughter Maryam and the son-in-law of MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are accused of only in Avenfield.

In the additional Al Azizia and Flagship links submitted to the court on February 14, NAB included eight new witnesses, as well as new evidence, including information on offshore companies Hassan and Hussein.

Two brothers who were abroad disappeared after the trials began last year and were declared by the court as offenders.

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