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Prosecution in Avenfield properties reference completed presentation

08 May, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The prosecution in the Avenfield properties reference completed the presentation of its evidence as Investigation Officer (IO) Mohammad Imran, the last witness for prosecution, was called to testify before the accountability court on Monday.

During cross-examination, Mr Imran conceded that the fourth volume of the report prepared by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), tasked with probing allegations of money laundering against former PM Nawaz Sharif and his family, and submitted before the Supreme Court, carried details about the Avenfield properties case and was 240 pages long initially. Later, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) got a copy of the JIT report’s volume IV which had 299 pages, with handwritten numbering of the additional pages. The investigation officer said that he did not know who, when or how those pages had been added to the volume IV.

He also admitted that none of the witnesses, whose statements he recorded under Section 161 of the criminal procedure code during the course of investigation, had stated that Maryam Nawaz or her spouse retired Captain Mohammad Safdar was the beneficial owner of the London properties.

During cross-examination, Amjad Pervez, counsel for the Sharif family, was asked whether the IO had also recorded statements of Imran Khan and UK-based solicitor Gilead Cooper, since Mr Khan was the petitioner in the case and Mr Cooper had prepared a report alleging that Maryam Nawaz could be the beneficial owner of the Nielsen and Nescoll offshore companies.

Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, head of prosecution of NAB, stated that the prosecution wanted to make a statement before court under Section 342 of the CrPC to formally close the evidence. Defence counsel Amjad Pervez and Saad Hashmi opposed that and said they would contest it.

The defence counsel was of the opinion that the court could summon prosecution witness Wajid Zia to record his testimony in Al-Azizia and Flagship references. The statements of all three accused — Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and retired Captain Safdar — will be recorded after concluding the prosecution evidence in all three references.

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