Former premier Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday to record his statements in two supplementary references — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship investments — that are yet to be filed in an accountability court.
Since Sharif did not act on NAB’s summons, the Bureau will file the references without his statement and the court will start hearing the case.
A NAB official told DawnNews that if Sharif had been out of the country, the Bureau would have first issued him a notice, reminding him to appear before the court to respond to the charges against him before the body files the references.
But since Sharif was present in the country and still didn’t appear before the Bureau before the end of working hours, NAB will now file the references without the former prime minister’s statement.
Nawaz was summoned by the Rawalpindi NAB headquarters that is now being headed by Irfan Mangi, a member of the Panama Papers leaks Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court to probe corruption allegations against the Sharif family.
A source in NAB had told Dawn that Mangi wanted to fulfil a legal requirement to get Nawaz acquainted with the evidence they had collected for supplementary references.
However, it is unlikely that Nawaz will respond to NAB’s summons this time, since he had kept away from Lahore NAB regional headquarters when he was summoned to record his statement over a supplementary reference regarding the Avenfield Properties against him a few weeks ago.
Nawaz and his family members are facing three corruption references in the accountability court — Avenfield Properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments — in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets. A supplementary reference pertaining to their Avenfield Properties has already been filed.