A prosecution witness on Wednesday provided details of foreign currency accounts of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons to Accountability Court hearing corruption references against the Sharif family. While hearing Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference against the Sharif family, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir completed the recording of statement of prosecution witness Malik Tayyab, who is associated with Standard Chartered Bank, and adjourned the hearing till Thursday (today).
Continuing with his statement about the Sharif family's foreign currency accounts (dollars, euro and pound), he presented details and transitions carried out over the years through two foreign currency bank accounts. Ayesha Hamid, an assistant lawyer to Khawaja Haris, Nawaz Sharif's counsel, represented him (Haris) during hearing in the court. The former prime minister was represented by his pleader Advocate Zafir Khan Tareen.
Tayyab told the court that the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, withdrew $2,200 from his account on February 7, 2017. On March 11, 2017, Nawaz transferred $600,000 to his Pakistani currency account, he added. Nawaz transferred $200,000 to his Pakistani currency account on May 29, 2017, he added. Tayyab also provided details of Nawaz and his son's accounts in euro and pound currencies. He said that Hussain Nawaz had transferred £23,000 to his father's account on December 23, 2010.
Tayyab said that Nawaz had transferred £25,000 to his Pakistani currency account on November 15, 2015. He said on April 30, 2016, the then prime minister transferred £10 to his Pakistani currency account. However, Nawaz's pleader Zafir Khan raised objection. The judge asked, "Do you have any objection on the transfer of money from his one account to another?" "We have objection on the documents," Zafir told the court.
The judge said that Nawaz had himself transferred the amount. "You have an objection on a cheque of £10 as well?" Judge Bashir asked Zafir. Tayyab further told the court that Hussain Nawaz had transferred €1.1 million and €40,000 to his father's account in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
"Nawaz issued five cheques - a total of €900,000 - and transferred the amount to his Pakistani currency account on September 23, 2010. He added Nawaz withdrew €10 on April 30, 2010; to which, the judge remarked in a lighter vein that Zafir Khan must have received that cheque. Tayyab said that in April 2012, Nawaz transferred €210,000 to his Pakistani currency account and €190,000 in November 2015.
The court also heard the NAB's plea to include documents provided by Noreen Shahzad who replaced Tayyab as branch manager of Standard Chartered Bank in the witness record. While opposing NAB's plea, Ayesha Hamid said that since Shahzad's name is not on the witness list, the documents provided by her cannot be counted as evidence. "In what capacity has Noreen Shahzad submitted documents to the court?" Hamid asked, adding that Shahzad was not able to present an authority letter from her employer. She also said that the defence team was not informed of Shahzad's involvement in the case.
Hamid requested the court to delay the next hearing until it takes a decision regarding Shahzad's inclusion in the case, which was accepted.
Hamid's objection will be debated in the court on Thursday. Once the court reaches a decision on the matter, it will resume the recording of Tayyab's statement. In Tuesday's hearing, Tayyab provided details of the cheques issued to Maryam and others by the former prime minister.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017