• Al-Azizia reference: Defence cross-examines NAB witness Wajid Zia

    Al-Azizia reference: Defence cross-examines NAB witness Wajid Zia File Photo Al-Azizia reference: Defence cross-examines NAB witness Wajid Zia

    Accountability Court II resumed hearing the Al-Azizia corruption reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

    The defence lawyer, Khawaja Haris, continued cross-examining the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witness Wajid Zia — who also headed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the Panama Papers case.

    Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik presided over the case.

    Nawaz was earlier exempted from appearing before the court for the hearing. The incarcerated former premier meets close family members and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders in the jail on Thursdays.

    The 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 court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.

    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.

    On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

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