Avenfield case: Nawaz, Maryam exempted from court appearance today

ISLAMABAD: Wajid Zia’s cross-examination by the secondary defence counsel enters its third day today in the hearing of the Avenfield properties reference against the Sharif family.

Zia, an additional director at the Federal Investigation Agency, headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year.
As the hearing went under way, the court approved the exemption request of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam as they could not depart from Lahore due to the inclement weather.
However, Nawaz’s son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar is present in court.
The Avenfield properties reference is among three filed against Nawaz and his family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year on the Supreme Court’s directives.
Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir, who has been conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family since September last year, is presiding over the case.
On Wednesday, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris concluded, on the tenth day, Zia’s cross-examination in the Avenfield case.
After Haris concluded his cross-examination, Maryam’s counsel took his place and began his cross-examination.

The cases

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.
NAB to file three supplementary references against Nawaz
The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.
Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are 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.