The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was directed by the court on Monday to record Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s statement in the Toshakhana case by November 30.
The reference against three-time former premier Nawaz, former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani alleges that they purchased luxury vehicles and gifts from the state repository.
Gifts given to heads of governments, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and officials by heads of other governments, states, and foreign dignitaries are submitted in the Toshakhana.
At the hearing today, Nawaz’s lawyer Qazi Misbah told accountability court judge Muhamad Bashir that the PML-N chief’s statement was not recorded during investigation. He requested the court to direct the graft buster to record his statement.
To this, the NAB prosecutor responded that he will need to go through the plea first.
The judge then questioned what the problem was, asking NAB to “call Nawaz Sharif and record his statement.” The prosecutor informed the court that only the investigating officer (IO) could record the statement.
Nawaz’s lawyer asked to be given a questionnaire following which they can provide their answers.
Read Nawaz Sharif challenges Toshakhana proceedings
The prosecutor then informed the court that NAB did not have any objections to the IO recording Nawaz’s statement.
The hearing was adjourned till November 30.
In June 2020, a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued by an accountability court for Nawaz Sharif in this reference.
Nawaz was declared a proclaimed offender; his properties were also ordered to be confiscated by the court. However, his arrest warrant was cancelled two days prior to his return to Pakistan from London, where he was residing in self-exile.
In a separate case, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted the former premier protective bail until October 19 in Al-Aziza and Avenfield references and sought the restoration of his appeals in these cases.
In July 2018, Nawaz was convicted in the Avenfield case and the Al-Azizia case in December of the same year. He later filed appeals against his conviction in the IHC.
However, on June 24, 2021, an IHC bench led by Justice Aamer Farooq rejected the appeals due to Nawaz’s failure to appear in court for several hearings.