The accountability court in Islamabad on Thursday resumed the hearing of Al-Azizia and Flagship references against incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and directed the authorities to produce Sharif in the court at the next hearing.
It was the first hearing of the two cases after the Islamabad High Court shifted the references from the court of accountability judge Mohammad Bashir to the court of judge Arshad Malik.
NAB officials told the court that Sharif, who was supposed to appear before the court, could not be produced today due to security concerns. The court ordered the prosecution to produce Sharif as well as Wajid Zia, the star prosecution witness in the case, on Monday.
Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris told the court that he will have to appear before the IHC on Monday in connection with a petition against sentences of Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar. He requested the court to summon Zia on Friday (August 16) instead of Monday (August 13).
He suggested the prosecution to get Zia’s statement recorded in Flagship reference. It is pertinent to mention here that both the references are being heard simultaneously. Zia is being cross-examined in Al-Azizia reference and he has yet to record his statement in the Flagship reference.
The prosecution, however, opposed Haris’ proposal, insisting that the cross-examination of Zia should be completed first before recording the statement.
“He is an important witness; he needs peace of mind,” argued the prosecutor.