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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed in an accountability court on Monday a supplementary reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hussain and Hassan, daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar in connection with the London properties reference.

The supplementary reference was filed after NAB investigators obtained additional evidence under the mutual legal assistance (MLA).

It may be mentioned that a NAB investigation team headed by Director General (operations) Zahir Shah recently visited the UAE and the United Kingdom to get some additional evidence against Mr Sharif and members of his family in connection with Avenfiled apartments owned by Hussain Nawaz.

The supplementary reference included seven witnesses, including Robert W. Radley, an expert of the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory in London, and a solicitor. Wajid Zia, head of the Joint Investigation Team constituted by the Supreme Court, is also among the witnesses.

Reference includes UK-based forensic expert, JIT head as witnesses

In its judgement, a five-judge SC bench had on July 28 last year said that “NAB may file supplementary reference(s) if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered”.

The NAB prosecutor had last week informed the accountability court that the bureau was going to file a supplementary reference on the basis of additional evidence it procured from abroad relating to Avenfield apartments and the use of Calibri font.

NAB said TV interviews of Mr Sharif, Maryam, Hasan and Hussain were also made a part of the new evidence.

In its report submitted to the apex court during the hearing of the Panama Papers case, the JIT had alleged that Maryam Nawaz was the real and ultimate beneficial owner of Avenfield apartments and she produced before the apex court forged documents in Calibri font which was not formally launched when the documents were prepared.

However, the accountability court deleted this charge from the charge sheet after Maryam and her husband Capt Safdar moved an application in this regard.

Their counsel took the plea that the court could take up the matter only after pronouncing the final judgement and that too if the court found any forged document(s) during the trial.

The JIT report alleged that Maryam had submitted fake, falsified and misleading documents which were a criminal offence, adding that these were also signed by Hussain and Capt Safdar.

The “trust deed” in Calibri font dated Feb 4, 2006 was signed between Hussain and Maryam declaring the latter “trustee” of the Avenfield properties.

In response to a summons for producing the original trust deed documents of Nielson Enterprises Limited, Nescoll Limited and Coomber Inc, Maryam provided what she stated were the “originals”, but were in reality good quality photocopies of the original documents, the JIT report claimed.

It said Robert Radley had identified the type font used to produce both certified declarations as Calibri, which was not commercially available before Jan 31, 2007.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2018