A JIT volunteer leaked Hussain’s picture: Zia

Al Azizia reference in final stages, NAB informs court

Our Correspondent October 31, 2018
Hussain Nawaz waits at the Federal Judicial Academy. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday informed an accountability court hearing corruption references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif that the Al-Azizia reference against Sharif has reached its final stage as statements of all the witnesses have been recorded.

Earlier, former premier Sharif appeared before Judge Arshad Malik's court in Islamabad where his counsel Khawaja Harris continued cross-examining Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia in relation to the Flagship reference.

Accountability court irked at Nawaz's absence

During the hearing, Zia informed the court that the JIT was completely satisfied with the authentic letter from Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabbar Al Thani. "JIT had recorded statements of 10 witnesses before June 15, 2017. No witness except the former Qatari prime minister requested to receive a questionnaire in advance."

He added that the Supreme Court (SC) was asked if the JIT should travel to Doha to record Thani's statement but the SC left it up to the JIT to decide whether they should go or not. "JIT sent a questionnaire to Jeremy Freeman through Akhtar Riaz Raja."

Further on in the hearing, NAB prosecutor raised objection over a question asked by Sharif's lawyer. However, the court overruled the objection and asked Harris to continue his questions.

"How did Hussain Nawaz's picture leak?" he asked. "Why wasn't the name of the person who leaked the picture informed to the court?"

JIT head Zia replied saying, "A volunteer working with the JIT during that time leaked the picture but his name cannot be relayed due to security concerns."

In response, Harris, on a lighter note, said "Was that volunteer you?" To which Zia responded, "No it wasn't me."

It is pertinent to note that the Flagship reference arguments have still not concluded even after seven days of cross-examination.

Hearing was adjourned till Wednesday.



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