ISLAMABAD: The accountability court has decided to put about 70 questions to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for recording his statement in the Flagship Investment reference.
The court put over 120 questions to Mr Sharif in the Avenfield properties reference and 151 in the Al-Azizia reference. The former prime minister has so far responded to 148 of the 151 questions.
Lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris told Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik that the testimony of former premier would be completed by Thursday as the court would remain closed on Wednesday (today) on account of Eid Miladun Nabi.
He said that his client was taking time in giving his response because there were too many questions.
Mr Haris said that the Supreme Court had set Dec 10 as the new deadline for the accountability court to conclude the proceedings in Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.
Accountability court posed 120 queries in Avenfield reference and 151 in Al-Azizia reference to former PM
The judge said that he would try to shorten the questionnaire as it would consist of 70 to 75 questions.
He said the prosecution and the defence counsel might be asked to advance their final arguments after Mr Sharif concluded his testimony under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Mr Haris continued the cross-examination of last prosecution witness Mohammad Kamran, the investigation officer in the Flagship Investment reference.
The witness testified that he had thoroughly examined the available record and then prepared the investigation report.
He said that the record was obtained from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) headquarters, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Supreme Court.
He confirmed that the tax details of Mr Sharif were part of the report prepared by the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate the Panama Papers revelations.
He, however, admitted that it was not in his knowledge whether the relevant details were provided by Mr Sharif to the JIT on his own or the investigators had procured these from the FBR.
During the investigation, the JIT could not get any response to the request seeking mutual legal assistance (MLA) related to Capital FZE, a company owned by a son of Mr Sharif, he said. Some of the documents were photocopies of the computer screen’s screenshots.
These screenshots were in fact details of the salary Capital FZE allegedly disbursed to Mr Sharif, on the basis of which he was disqualified by the Supreme Court for not declaring this in his asset declarations.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, after attending the proceedings in the accountability court, alleged that the PML-N leadership was witnessing arbitrary accountability.
She said that the party leaders were facing the trial courts, high courts and the Supreme Court.
She alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan had started giving NRO-like deals from his home as he managed to clear his own sister Aleema Khan in the case related to living beyond means.
According to her, the opposition would not remain silent on this favouritism and it demanded formation of a joint investigation team to probe whether the prime minister’s sister misused charity funds to accumulate assets or otherwise.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2018