ISLAMABAD, December 7: An accountability court in Islamabad on Thursday dismissed the objections raised by the counsel for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif against a prosecution representative in a corruption reference.
Judge Mohammad Bashir was hearing the Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Sharif. Defence counsel Khawaja Harris’ assistant lawyer Ayesha Hamid represented him in the court today.
On Wednesday, the court had heard NAB’s plea to include documents provided by Noreen Shahzad – who replaced prosecution witness Malik Tayyab as branch manager of Standard Chartered Bank – in the case record.
Hamid had objected to the request, saying that since Shahzad’s name is not on the witness list, documents provided by her cannot be counted as evidence.
“In what capacity has Noreen Shahzad submitted documents to the court?” Hamid had asked, adding that Shahzad was not able to present an authority letter from her employer. She had also said that the defence team was not informed of Shahzad’s involvement in the case.
The court after hearing arguments from both sides on Thursday rejected the objections raised by Hamid against Shahzad’s status. The judge ordered that documents presented by Shahzad be made a part of the case record.
The NAB prosecutor had argued that Shahzad is now the manager of the bank where Tayyab was earlier employed. He said Shahzad too has presented documents concerning Nawaz Sharif’s bank accounts.
After dismissing the lawyer’s plea, the court resumed recording the statement of Tayyab, the witness. The defence lawyer will argue on his testimony at the next hearing.
According to documents presented by Tayyab, Rs1.19 billion were transferred to Sharif’s account at different times between 2010 and 2017.
Sharif’s account contained 7,568 Euros and $200,000 in August, 2017, the documents said.
The hearing of the case was adjourned until December 11.
Sharif, who is in London, was represented by Zaafir Khan Tareen before the court.-Agencies