An accountability court hearing the Flagship reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday directed his counsel to file an appeal regarding Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry’s comments pertaining to Sharif’s imprisonment.
The former premier appeared before Judge Arshad Malik’s court in Islamabad.
During the hearing, Sharif’s lawyer Zubair Khalid pointed out the federal minister’s comment “Nawaz Sharif will definitely go to jail” to the court and questioned how the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader knew that Sharif would be punished.
Khalid also asked the court to summon Chaudhry and take action against his statement to maintain the sanctity of the court.
“Did he [Fawad Chaudhry] pass a comment on the judicial proceedings or relayed his personal opinion?” asked Judge Malik. Sharif’s lawyer replied, “Chaudhry is trying to influence the court.”
Sharif’s senior counsel Khawaja Harris also requested the court to summon the transcript of Chaudhry’s statement too.
The judge remarked, “Murder convicts kept saying they will be released but I told them the court will make the decision and they can keep saying whatever they want.”
He also assured Sharif’s counsel that a notice will be issued to Chaudhry if needed. “Make the newspaper clippings part of the appeal as well,” he instructed.
Further on, arguments between Harris and Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia continued.
Zia said Tariq Shafi and Mohammad Hussain were partners in the Gulf Steel deal and pointed out that Hussain died before the deal was implemented. “Shafi informed the JIT that after Hussain’s death, he met his son Shehzad Hussain.”
The JIT head also said, Hussain was a British citizen according to Shafi and they tried finding Shehzad but couldn’t. “We asked Shafi for Shehzad’s number but he said he doesn’t have it.”
Zia also agreed to the fact that Shafi wasn’t asked a question pertaining to this in volume two of the JIT.
“Did the JIT try locating Shehzad through any other means apart from asking Shafi?” said Harris, the Sharif’s counsel. Zia replied, “No they did not.”
Hearing was adjourned till Oct 29.