Incorrect Information Given To Saudi About Al-Aizia Mills By Joint Investment Team
Former premier is facing charges of corruption in an accountability court
The last prosecution witness in the Al-Azizia reference admitted before the accountability court on Monday that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) provided ‘incorrect’ information to the Saudi government about Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment (HME) owned by Hussain Nawaz, son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The ex-premier’s lead counsel Khawaja Haris asked investigation officer, Mehboob Alam, during the cross-examination about a letter of credit that was related to transport of scrap of machinery of Ahli Steel Mills from Sharjah to Jeddah. It was submitted by Hussain Nawaz before the Supreme Court.
The Joint Investigation Team mentioned the wrong place of origin instead of Sharjah as it was seeking mutual legal assistance on its request, the investigators sought information about the machinery transported from Dubai.
Moreover, the exhibited document were different from description of goods transported from Ahli Steel Mills as given in the letter of credit, he admitted.
The statement of any witness were neither recorded nor any notice was issued to any witness by Mr. Alam to ascertain the cost at which Al-Azizia Steel Company and HME had been set up.
“It did not come to my notice during investigation that Hill Metals Establishment was not established in one go rather it was established gradually over a period from 2006 to 2014,” he admitted.
Before the court, he accepted that he had gone through the statement of Hussain Nawaz recorded by the JIT which probed the Panama Papers scandal.
“Even after going through that statement it had not come to my notice that accused Hussain Nawaz Sharif had stated that the Steel Mill was not established all at once rather initially HME was set up as a Scrap Processing Plant,” said the witness.
Mr Alam admitted that no witness who had appeared before him, during the corss-examination, he stated that any money was sent by accused Nawaz Sharif to accused Hussain and Hassan Nawaz to fund their expenses while they were studying in the UK.
“No witness had stated before me that accused Nawaz Sharif had been sending money to accused Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz for meeting their day-to-day expenditure from the year 1995 to 1999 or thereafter”, he said.
With that he added that during investigation he had not come across any bank account of Nawaz Sharif through which any money was sent by him to his sons for any of the aforesaid purposes.
Moreover, the investigation officer admitted that he had not collected record from the SECP regarding any company in which Mr Sharif was a shareholder. The proceedings in the Al-Azizia reference were adjourned till Tuesday.