Prosecution witness Malik Tayyab recorded his statement on Wednesday against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members before an accountability court in Islamabad.
Judge Mohammad Bashir heard the Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Nawaz departed for London a day earlier after being granted a week-long exemption from the court; in his absence, the PML-N chief will be represented by Advocate Zaafir Khan.
Defence counsel Khawaja Harris' assistant lawyer Ayesha Hamid represented him in the court today.
Tayyab, who is associated with Standard Chartered Bank, shared the details of the ousted premier and his sons Hasan and Hussain Nawaz's different bank accounts and the transactions carried out over the years.
According to Tayyab, Nawaz withdrew $2,200 on February 7, 2017. The witness said that the PML-N leader transferred $600,000 to his Pakistani currency account between March 2017 to May 2017.
Tayyab also provided details of Nawaz and his sons' accounts in Euro and Pound currencies. He said that Hussain had transferred £25,000 to Nawaz's account in December 2010. In 2015, Tayyab said that Nawaz had transferred £25,000 to his Pakistani currency account. He further told the court that Nawaz had transferred £10 to his Pakistani currency account twice in 2016, at which Zaafir Khan raised an objection over the documents presented in court.
"You have an objection over a cheque of £10 as well?" Judge Bashir quipped, causing the court to chuckle.
Continuing with his statement about the Sharifs' accounts in Euro, Tayyab told the court that Hussain had transferred €1.1 million to Nawaz's account in 2010 and €40,000 in 2012.
Nawaz issued five cheques — a total of €900,000 — and transferred the amount to his Pakistani currency account on September 23, 2010. He added that the ousted premier withdrew €10 on April 30, 2010, at which the judge joked that Zaafir Khan must have received that cheque.
In April 2012, Nawaz transferred €210,000 to his Pakistani currency account and €190,000 in November 2015.
The court also heard NAB's plea to include documents provided by Noreen Shahzad — who replaced Tayyab as branch manager of Standard Chartered Bank — in the witness record. Hamid objected to the request, saying that since Shahzad's name is not on the witness list, documents provided by her cannot be counted as evidence.
"In what capacity has Noreen Shahzad submitted documents to the court?" Hamid asked, adding that Shahzad was not able to present an authority letter from her employer. She also said that the defence team was not informed of Shahzad's involvement in the case.
Hamid requested the court to delay the next hearing until it takes a decision regarding Shahzad's inclusion in the case, which was accepted. Hamid's objection will be debated in court on Thursday. Once the court reaches a decision on the matter, it will resume the recording of Tayyab's statement.
At Tuesday's hearing, Tayyab had provided details of the cheques issued to Maryam and others from the former premier's bank account.
Tayyab had told the court that on June 13, 2015, a cheque worth Rs12 million was issued to Maryam. Another cheque worth Rs28.8m was issued to her later that year, on November 15.
On August 14, 2016, Nawaz issued another cheque worth Rs19.5m to his daughter, the witness told the court.
The court on Tuesday had also recorded statements from NAB Lahore officials Umer Daraz and Mukhtar, who were among those who delivered the NAB summons to Nawaz Sharif and his family members at Jati Umrah.
Nawaz, Maryam off to London
The ousted prime minister and his daughter departed for London from Lahore airport on Tuesday morning after the former was granted a week-long exemption from appearing in court from Dec 5 to Dec 11 during Monday's hearing.
Maryam had put forward a request for exemption from appearance before the court as well but it was rejected. The court had noted that she had already received such an exemption earlier from Nov 15 to Dec 15, which was still intact.
Nawaz will remain in London for five days. His wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, has reportedly been undergoing medical treatment in the British capital for some time now.
A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.
The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.
NAB had filed three references on Sept 8 against Sharif and his family, and another reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.
The former premier and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.