Court allows NAB to grill Nawaz in bulletproof cars case

Ex-PM accused of using 20 vehicles imported for Saarc summit for himself and his family

Our Correspondent May 21, 2019
A file photo of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to question former prime minister Nawaz Sharif about allegedly using 20 bulletproof vehicles imported for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in 2016 for himself and his family.

Accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad approved the application of the anti-graft body, which wants to interrogate the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N supreme leader in Kot Lakhpat jail, where he is serving a seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

According to NAB, 34 bulletproof vehicles were imported from Germany -- for diplomats attending the Saarc conference in 2016 – without paying custom duty on them.

It further alleged that 20 of these vehicles were added to Sharif’s own convoy and also used by his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.

The graft buster has already interrogated PML-N leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hasan Fawad and former foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry in connection with the case.

According to NAB, the former foreign secretary approved the summary to import the bulletproof vehicles from Germany.

Separately, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sent notices to NAB, the Kot Lakhpat prison superintendent and other parties while hearing Nawaz’s second application for bail on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

An IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooqi and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani heard the plea.

Justice Kiyani asked Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris if there was a new medical report of the former prime minister. Later, Haris submitted his client’s fresh medical report to the court.

On Justice Kiyani query, the lawyer told the court that Nawaz was undergoing treatment but his condition was not stable.

The IHC later adjourned the hearing for two weeks before sending notices in the case.

Nawaz moved the court on Monday. Opinions of specialists from Switzerland, the US and the UK have been included in his application filed with the high court.

They stated in their reports that stress could prove to be life-threatening to Nawaz.

Even the blood and sugar levels of the former prime minister were not normal.

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