ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) key witness admitted before an accountability court that the apex court mandated Joint Investigation Team (JIT) did not know actual name of the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) when it sought help from Saudi Arabia in connection with a probe against Sharif family.
On Friday, the JIT head Wajid Zia said the JIT did not send any Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request to authorities in Riyadh seeking information about any entity by the name of ‘Hill Modern Industry for Metal Establishment – the actual name of the HME.
The revelation came during Zia’s examination in the Al-Azizia & HME reference against the former premier Nawaz Sharif and his sons, Hassan and Hussain. The JIT had sought Saudi government’s help to get information and documents of a company owned by Hussain Nawaz.
“The JIT did not send any MLA to KSA authorities seeking information about any entity by the name of Hill Modern Industry for Metal Establishment,” Zia admitted while answering one of questions asked by Sharif’s counsel, Khawaja Haris.
Zia voluntarily explained that the JIT sent the MLA to the KSA on May 31, 2017 as at that time the documents providing the full name were not available. The witness conceded that when the JIT sent the MLA it did not know whether the entity was a company, partnership concern or sole proprietorship.
He said the entity was referred to as a company. During cross examination, it emerged that the JIT did not provide the complete address of the entity and only “Jeddah” was mentioned in the MLA despite the fact that the documents provided by Hussain Nawaz had address and other details.
On June 03, 2017, he accepted, when Hussain appeared before JIT and produced documents wherein this entity was referred to Hill Modern Industry for Metals Establishment but the JIT did not deem it necessary to send a further MLA to the KSA authorities for verification of the additional information.
It surfaced during cross examination that according to Hussain’s statement, land for the entity was purchased at the end of 2005 and initially automatic shredder scrap processing plant was setup on it.
Zia admitted that Hussain had told JIT that steel melting facility was added in year 2008, while two furnaces were added in year 2010 and 2014, adding that the plant was setup for an amount of GBP half a million and the building was constructed at a cost of three to four million Riyals. He admitted that Hussain had told the JIT that entity was established and expanded gradually.
Following the cross examination, the court adjourned hearing till Monday. Haris will continue the cross examination of Zia on the next date – September 10.