Nawaz Sharif appears before accountability court

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad,   Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday appeared before an accountability court here for the hearings of the two remaining corruption references against him.

Mehboob Alam, the investigation officer in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference, was supposed to continue his statement in the case but Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris pleaded with the court to allow him to cross-examine the star witness in the case, Wajid Zia, first, reports Dawn news.

The court accepted the plea and summoned Zia at the next hearing.

After Haris’ cross-examination, Zia will record his statement in the second Flagship Investment reference.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned to August 27.

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body NAB had filed three cases — Avenfield, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Limited — against the Sharifs on the Supreme Court’s directives in the July 2017 Panamagate verdict.

The trial commenced in September that year.

The three-time Premier and his sons Hasan and Hussain were accused in all the three graft references whereas his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Safdar are already serving prison sentences of 10 years, seven years and one year, respectively after being convicted in the Avenfield case involving the family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London.