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Maryam, Safdar approach IHC against accountability court decision to allow video link testimonies – Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her husband, Muhammad Safdar, challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday an accountability court’s decision to allow two witnesses to testify via video link in the Avenfield apartments case.

Last week, two UK-based prosecution witnesses, including a nephew of an additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), were allowed to testify through a video link in a supplementary reference against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and family.

The petition, submitted by Maryam and Safdar’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz, seeks the annulment of the accountability court’s decision to allow witnesses to testify via video link. The federation, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman and Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir — who made the decision — have been made party to the case in the petition.

The application filed by NAB seeking testimony of the owner of UK-based Quist Solicitors, Akhtar Raja, and principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, Robert W. Radley, via video link had been accepted by the accountability judge.

Radley and Raja, who is a nephew of FIA additional DG Wajid Zia, the head of the Joint Investigation Team that had investigated the Sharif family in Panamagate case, were allowed to record their statements through video link at the Pakistan High Commission in London. The judge had also issued a directive for the installation of necessary equipment in this regard.

The two witnesses had earlier refused to appear in person before the accountability court, citing security reasons and other professional commitments.

The Avenfield Properties reference alleges that Nawaz Sharif, his children and his son-in-law had purchased four flats in Park Lane, UK, without legitimate financial means.

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