Sharif family not to appear before NAB until SC decides review pleas

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Salim Ahmed

Lahore

The Sharif family has decided to not appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) until the top court decides the review petitions filed by former PM Nawaz Sharif against his disqualification.
Despite being summoned, deposed PM Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz did not appear before NAB investigators in Lahore on Friday for recording their statements.
A seven-member NAB team has reached Lahore from Rawalpindi to record the statements of Sharif and his sons. Besides, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Tariq Shafi have also been summoned.
Sources said the Sharif family’s counsel reached the NAB office and informed the team that the family would not appear before them until the Supreme Court reached a decision on the review petitions filed by the former PM against his disqualification.
The political adviser to the PM and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Asif Kirmani said Sharif and his sons had not received any notice from NAB.
The sources said the deposed PM would not be provided with any protocol while recording his statement before the NAB investigators.
NAB rules provide for recording statements of accused before filing any corruption reference against them.
The graft watchdog has sought complete details of the bank accounts of the Sharif family from the State Bank of Pakistan.
Besides, it has already written a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan seeking details of some seven companies –Hajveri Holdings, CNG Pakistan, Spencer Distribution, HDS Securities, Gulf Insurance Company, Spenser Pharmacy, and Hajveri Hodarba Management Company – all owned by relatives of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Also on Thursday, the SC granted access to the confidential tenth volume of the JIT report to NAB investigators.
NAB has assigned and dedicated 14 officers to investigate the allegations and consequently file four separate references against Sharif family members in light of the SC judgement.
The four probe teams each comprise three officers – an investigation officer, a case officer, and a director. They will be under the direct supervision of the directors-general of NAB Rawalpindi and Lahore.
These teams will conduct inquiries and recommend whether or not corruption reference should be filed.
The National Accountability Ordinance provides that if an investigation officer deems it necessary in the light of the available material evidence, they can order the arrest of an accused at any stage of an investigation.

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