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Monday June 17, 2024

Avenfield Apartments reference: Nescoll and Neilson were owners of London flats, court told

By Usman Manzoor
April 26, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Director General Operations, NAB Zahir Shah has admitted during cross-examination in the Avenfield Apartments reference that the fresh evidence neither contained the name of any Sharif family member nor any indicting evidence against the accused.

Zahir Shah admitted be fore the accountability court that the new documents did not contain the names of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz or Maryam Nawaz. The NAB presented official copies of title registry of Avenfield Apartments, water bill and council tax details but none of them contained any names.

They say the owners are Nescoll Ltd and Neilson Enterprises Ltd since 1993 and 1995.

Zahir Shah created an impression that the fresh documents were received as a result of reply of a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and therefore it was a breakthrough in investigation against the Sharifs in the reference.

Defence counsel Khawaja Haris asked Zahir what was asked in the MLA sent on May 27, 2017 and if the MLA had asked the UK central authority to reveal the names of original owners, beneficial owners and address and contact numbers of owners.

Zahir replied in the affirmative. Then he was asked about the reply which had been produced in the court whether the reply contained any answer to the questions asked in the MLA. Zahir replied that he had not read documents but what he saw in a hurry was that the documents did not carry the names of any member of Sharif family.

He further told the court that it had been proven that Nescoll and Neilson were the owners of London Flats in 1993 and 1995. Regarding the Volumes 10 of the JIT report, Shah said the NAB obtained the volume within one month of July 28, 2017 decision of the Supreme Court and that the apex court had not imposed any bar on the NAB regarding the use of Volume 10.

“I had photocopied the relevant portions of Volume 10 and disbursed them among the investigation officers”, Shah said. Haris then asked, “When you photocopied the relevant portion of Volume 10 then it meant there were irrelevant portions as well in the said volume”. Zahid said he did not use the word irrelevant.

He however agreed that the documents received by the NAB stated that they were obtained through a third party. He also maintained that the names of sender and receiver had been blacked out on the documents.

What Khawaja Haris and Amjad Pervaiz tried to establish was that the documents received by the NAB were not a reply to any MLA. Meanwhile, talking to the media outside the accountability court, Maryam Nawaz said that whosoever had brought these new documents had done a a service to the Sharif family, as it had solved their case in one day that the Sharif family was not owner of these properties prior to 2006.