Nawaz Sharif appears before accountability court

Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday appeared before an accountability court here as it resumed hearings of two remaining corruption references against him and his family.

Accountability court II Judge Arshad Malik was hearing the corruption cases pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment as well as Flagship Investment.

The judge also summoned Panamagate Joint Investigation Team head and prosecution’s key witness Wajid Zia and investigation officer of the cases at the hearing, Geo News reported.

Both the cases were heard simultaneously during the last hearing on August 13 and Zia was cross-examined in the Al-Azizia reference. However, he was yet to record his statement in the Flagship Investment reference.

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 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 sentence 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.