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Haris concludes cross-examination: Flagship affair.

ISLAMABAD: Khawaja Haris, counsel for former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, concluded cross-examination of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia in Flagship Investment reference.
Accountability Court-II Judge Arshad Malik summoned the investigation officer (IO) of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday to record his statement in the reference.
Accused Nawaz Sharif appeared before the court.
During the cross-examination, Wajid Zia told the court that the former prime minister had told the JIT that he had not paid any income tax during 2001-2008 for being abroad. The accused had provided income tax trail for 1985 to 1999 and 2009 to 2016 during the investigation, he said.
To a query, Zia informed the court that Nawaz’s son Hassan Nawaz had clarified that all the companies they owned were established under the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) model in which each company was registered with a distinct purpose. Hassan Nawaz had told the JIT that the companies under the SPV model could help in tax protection and buyers preferred to purchase such company instead of buying a property owned by the company, the JIT head said.
He said the JIT did not record the statement of any representative of SECP or Chaudhary Sugar Mills regarding provision of loans by Hassan Nawaz to the sugar mills. He said the former prime minister’s son also stated that he had opened several accounts in different banks to start his business for getting loans. The JIT head said the team had inquired about Rs 60 million loans taken from the Chaudhary Sugar Mills by Nawaz Sharif.
The defense counsel also asked several questions from Zia regarding the members of the JIT team. During the proceeding, the court also directed to defense counsel to ask only relevant questions during the cross-examination.
As the defense side completed Zia’s cross-examination, the court adjourned the case till Tuesday, besides summoning NAB’s IO Muhammad Kamran to record his statement in the Flagship Investment case. Meanwhile, Khawaja Haris prayed the court to provide a questionnaire to his client in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, which was opposed by the prosecution side.

Hissan Sheikh

Karachi's S M Law College graduate Hissan Sheikh writes on crime and local politics etc.