Maryam, Safdar move IHC against NAB court verdict

ISLAMABAD: PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz and Capt (r) Safdar have moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging accountability court’s decision dated February 2. The accountability court on February 2 had allowed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to record statements of two witnesses of prosecution via video link at the Pakistan High Commission in London in the supplementary reference against Sharif family regarding Avenfield Apartments. The petitioner through their counsel Amjad Pervaiz filed the petition in the registrar office of IHC on Wednesday. Amjad Pervaiz took the stance that in a criminal trial, the attendance of the witnesses before a court is necessary unless the same was dispensed with subject to the conditions mentioned in Sectio-503 CrPC. He pleaded that in the instant case, the reasons stated as excuse to attend the court were imaginary and not supported by any material. As per the declaration attached with the expert report, the witness Robert M Radley, principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, declared that he may attend the court for cross-examination and he had not made his attendance conditional, he added.

Pervaiz contended that impugned order was also ‘violative’ of fundamental right of access to justice, treatment accordance with law, due process and fair trial guaranteed vid Article 10 (A) of the constitution to his clients. The counsel requested the court to declare impugned order dated as illegal and without any lawful authority. In alternative, the order be modified with directions for adequate representation of the petitioners during examination of witnesses at the High Commission of London in the interest of justice, he prayed the court. It may be added that NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi had taken the plea before accountability court that the witnesses, Robert M Radley, and Akhtar Raja, were willing to record their statements through video link but couldn’t come to Pakistan due to security threats and pressing engagements. Radley, being a forensic examiner, had revealed that the type of font used in trust deeds of two companies was Calibri which was not commercially available before January 31, 2007.

Published in Daily Times, February 8th 2018.