Flagship reference: Court accepts Nawaz’s request to submit additional documents

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday accepted new documents in the Flagship Investment reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik heard the Flagship Investment reference and accepted the request of Nawaz’s counsel to submit additional documents and rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) reservations. During the hearing, NAB prosecutor Sardar Mehfooz said, “The defence counsel had earlier stated that they have provided complete evidence. State any law under which these additional documents can now be presented.” “The suspects were given full opportunities to submit documents in their defence. The documents which were presented are not mentioned in the financial statement and state that the companies were in loss. They have brought documents on company disposal now but our case is that how were these companies formed?” he added. At this, Judge Malik remarked, “During the last hearing I said that documents can be provided before the decision is announced.” “The case is that Nawaz bought property in the name of his benamidaar. Now if this property was sold or not, what difference will it make to the case?” the judge further said. After the court accepted the request of Nawaz’s counsel, additional documents pertaining to Hasan Nawaz’s property that has been sold were made part of the record. “The documents are accepted to meet all obligations of justice,” Judge Malik said. The accountability court on Wednesday reserved verdicts in the remaining two corruption references against Nawaz. The court will announce its verdicts in Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia references against the Sharif family on Monday, December 24. Trial The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017. On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the accountability court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference. Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year, respectively, in prison. Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only. The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
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