Sharif court statement deferred till tomorrow

Judge says questions in Flagship reference should be kept to a minimum

Our Correspondent November 21, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is still undecided whether he should present his defence in the Al-Azizia and Flagship reference cases or not, reported Express News.

When an accountability court in Islamabad resumed hearing of the cases on Tuesday, Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Haris requested the court to cross-examine the investigation officer first, adding that the former PM would conclude his statements and responses to the remaining questions on Thursday (tomorrow).

The court’s judge Arshad Malik, however, noted that "It would be better, if Nawaz Sharif concluded his responses today". Haris reassured the court that the former premier would appear before the court on Thursday. Later the court accepted Hari’s request to grant time till tomorrow (Thursday) for completion of Sharif's statement.

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During the hearing, an additional judge remarked that since the trial has to be concluded within three weeks, the questions in the Flagship reference should be kept to a minimum, adding that there would be 70-75 questions at the most in the Flagship reference for Sharif to answer.

During the interrogation, investigation officer Muhammad Kamran said the investigative report was written after critical observation of all records. He said he asked for unverified copies of various applications submitted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Supreme Court which were provided.

He said he had also obtained the Panamagate Joint Investigation (JIT) report as well as other documents. “All documents which were received were reviewed before start of the investigation. I asked for the suspects' tax records by writing a letter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on August 11, 2017.

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“I knew that Sharif's tax record was part of the JIT report. This record was from 1985 to 99 and from 2009 till 2016. I can't say if Nawaz Sharif himself provided tax record to the JIT or the FBR did that.”

He said no member of the JIT or the FBR was included in the investigation for verification of documents regarding tax record.  He said during investigation, it was noticed that the JIT did not receive documents regarding Capital FZE in answer of any Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA). These documents were with the letter written from Shahab Sultan and were not verified from a notary public in the UAE.

“However, stamp of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) was present on them. I noticed that documents received from the UAE are in the shape of screenshots. I didn't try to know who took these screenshots,” he added.  Later the court adjourned hearing till tomorrow (Thursday).



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