Court seeks JIT report volume X

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Nawaz, Maryam exempted from appearing in Avenfield case for one day

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were exempted from appearing in the corruption hearing against them after their counsel Khawaja Haris informed the accountability court “the two are stuck in Lahore owing to inclement weather.”
The judge approved the request but directed Nawaz’s son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar to remain in court.
The case, based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s order, pertains to the Sharif family’s London apartments.
Nawaz’s counsel resumed cross-examining the primary witness, Wajid Zia.
Zia headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets.
As Zia’s cross-examination went under way, he informed Haris that the JIT sent four letters to the UAE government under the mutual legal assistance programme, three of which did not have any attached documents.
Later, Zia told the court that the Supreme Court had directed for the sealing of the JIT report’s volume-X after the investigation team had asked for it.
However, the court directed NAB References Wajid Zia to approach the Supreme Court for obtaining the JIT report’s volume X.
During the cross examination, Khawaja Haris, the defense counsel questioned Wajid Zia on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLAs) sent by the JIT to Central Authority, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Justice, Dubai.
“Seven MLAs were sent to the department, four were sent together and the rest were sent on different dates,” Zia informed the court.
The defence then probed the JIT head whether the MLAs were sent to anyone else besides the ministry of justice, to which Zia replied in the negative. Upon this, Harris stated, “What if I told you that you did send MLAs pertaining to Tariq Shafee to someone else?”
“Do you know that a copy of volume 10 was provided to NAB,” Haris asked. “I don’t know,” Zia responded.
“I recollect that five sets of volume 10 were submitted to the SC, and they ordered it to be sealed. JIT only had office copies of volume 10 which are sealed by the bureau,” Zia further informed the court.
Wajid was then directed by the court to bring the said volume from the Supreme Court so that the trial court may peruse it.

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