ISLAMABAD: Adiala jail authorities on Thursday informed an accountability court in Islamabad that they cannot present incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif before it for the hearing tomorrow owing to security fears.
The former premier was brought to court amid tight security today as accountability court II Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik resumed hearing of Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.
“Rallies and sit-ins are scheduled for tomorrow which is why we cannot bring Nawaz to court tomorrow,” the jail authorities told the court.
As the hearing went under way, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris questioned Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head and prosecution’s star witness Wajid Zia.
However, Zia refrained from answering questions pertaining to corrections in the census. “Harris Sb is asking technical questions which I can only answer based on my general knowledge so there can be mistakes,” the prosecution’s star witness told court.
Following this, Nawaz’s counsel asked Zia whether the JIT sought a financial statement from Saudi authorities of audited accounts of Hill Metals Establishment.
“I will have to check the record before answering this,” the prosecution’s star witness responded.
The Mutual League Assistance (MLA) agreement written to Saudi authorities is in volume 10 of the report and I do not have access to it right now, he added.
Accepting Zia and the prosecutor’s request, the court directed that the related part of volume 10 be presented.
As the court went on a brief break, it directed that Nawaz be taken back to Adiala jail where he is currently serving a sentence.
The authorities then told the court that the former premier cannot be presented tomorrow owing to security fears.
Earlier upon Nawaz’s arrival, several Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders entered the courtroom and some of them were made to leave as Judge Malik summoned security officials.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chaudhry Tanvir, Asif Kirmani, Pervaiz Rashid, Raja Zafarul Haq and other senior party leaders met Nawaz in the courtroom.
The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.
On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.