Qatari prince never declined to join JIT proceedings, says Nawaz in testimony

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ISLAMABAD, MAY 22 (DNA) – Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday continued to record his statement in the Avenfield reference.Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the case, filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagate verdict, while other accused in the case, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar, are also present in the court.

Answering the questions asked by the court in the questionnaire, the former prime said that he had never been involved in any business dealing with Qatari royal family.

Confirming the letters sent by Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jasim Al Thani, Nawaz Sharif said that the prince himself verified the letters by writing letters to the apex court.

JIT head’s analysis was based on hearsays as the investigation team did not record the statement of the Qatari prince. He added that the Al Thani had never declined to become part of the Panamagate JIT proceedings.

He termed the statement recorded by UK-based Quist Solicitors, Akhtar Raja in the SC as biased. It was Raja, who had said in its opinion that the Calibri font may not be used in 2006 at the time the deed was signed between Hussain and Maryam Nawaz.

Nawaz Sharif added that the UK-based law firm, Jeremy Freeman, which was contacted by the JIT through Quist Solicitors, had verified the trust deed of Nielsen and Nescoll companies in January 5, 2017 letter

Jaremy Freeman had copies of the trust deed in its office but Akhtar Raja and JIT did not try to get them, the former premier said, adding, Akhtar Raja should be known that there is no concept of forensic test on photocopies”.

He said that Raja had sent documents to self-acclaimed forensic expert, Robert Radley, through email in haste and it is the reality that the expert expressed hesitation on forensic examination of the copies.

Radley’s report does not have significance as the expert did not have original documents for examination.

At the last hearing, Sharif on Monday said that it was inappropriate to include officers spy agencies in the Panamagate joint investigation team (JIT) as he is recording his statement in the Avenfield case before the accountability court.