Islamabad Politics Report: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has refused to respond on the wealth statements and tax returns of his sons in the Accountability court.
During hearing Tuesday, Nawaz Sharif told the accountability court that he cannot answer questions regarding the income tax returns and wealth statements of his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz.
When Nawaz approached the rostrum to verbally record his testimony, Accountability Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik asked him to return to his seat, and informed Nawaz that he himself would read the statement out in court for it to be recorded.
The PML-N supreme leader said that he would need time to consult his lawyer Khawaja Haris before he could provide responses to the five unanswered questions posed by the court.
“Some questions are complicated and records will need to be checked [before they can be answered],” Nawaz told the court.
Nawaz said that he did not hold any public office from 1999 to 2013, and was in exile from 2000 to 2007.
Responding to a question regarding his family’s wealth returns, he said, “I cannot answer questions regarding the income tax returns and wealth statements of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz. It is not within my purview,” he added.
“I have shown all my income tax returns, my assets and my sources of income. It is true that the financial documents, including tax records, wealth statements and wealth tax returns, are all my own,” he added.
Previously, the judge had remarked that the accountability court would inform the Supreme Court about the progress in the remaining corruption references against the Sharif family.
As the hearing went underway, defence lawyer Khawaja Haris cross-examined the investigation officer Muhammad Kamran who said that call-up notices had not been served to Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz on their foreign address.
Nawaz’s counsels objected to some questions listed on the questionnaire, as the former prime minister pointed out that some of the questions were based on rumours while a few others were ambiguous in nature.
It is worth mentioning here that the cases against the Sharif family stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared property allegedly owned by them in London.
PM Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar were convicted and sentenced to prison for ten years, seven years and one year respectively in the Avenfield verdict.
However, the convictions were suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and they were released from Adiala Jail till final decision.
The accountability court has until November 17 to wrap up the remaining two corruption references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments – against the Sharif family. However, the court on Tuesday decided to seek another extension to conclude the trial.