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Maryam Nawaz summoned over bogus trust deed in Avenfield properties case

10 July, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday summoned Maryam Nawaz, vice president of the PML-N, over the use of a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield properties case after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved an application before accountability judge Mohammad Bashir.

NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi filed the application, seeking action against Maryam Nawaz for producing a bogus trust deed before the accountability court in order to conceal the London properties.

Maryam Nawaz has been summoned to the hearing on July 19.

NAB application read, “The above conclusion [that the document used was bogus] by this court was reached after evaluating the entire evidence; hence, it is apparent that the respondent has maliciously fabricated and tendered false evidence/information with the intention to mislead the due process of law and trial and hamper the administration of justice.”

The judge inquired from the prosecutor on what grounds the court would proceed in this matter. Abbasi, in response, pointed out that the judge had the power to initiate action against Maryam Nawaz under Section 30 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999 read with serial number three of the Schedule of NAO, 1999.

Subsection ‘a’ of section 30 of the NAO reads, “On pronouncement of [a] judgment, the court shall have the jurisdiction and power to take cognizance of any offence committed in the course of the investigating or trial of a case by any officer, any witness, including an expert, who has tendered false evidence in the case.”

While serial number three says, “Giving false information or fabricating false evidence during an inquiry into or investigation of an offence by NAB or any agency authorised by NAB” entails “rigorous imprisonment for a term, which may extend to five years.”

The development comes after a delay of over a year after the conviction of Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield properties reference.

On July 6, 2018, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield properties reference and sentenced them 10 years and 07 years imprisonment, respectively.

In the verdict, judge Bashir had declared that “the trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus… In view of the role of this accused Maryam Nawaz, she is convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with fine of two million pounds.”

Subsequently, she was arrested and shifted to Adiala jail. Later, in September 2018, she was released from jail after the Islamabad High Court suspended her prison sentence.

Maryam Nawaz recently released a controversial video allegedly featuring a separate accountability judge, Mohammad Arshad Malik, who had convicted her father in the Al-Azizia reference.

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