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August 31, 2018

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Al-Azizia, Hill Metal cases: Haris accuses judge of ‘record tampering’

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s counsel on Thursday accused the Accountability Court-II (AC-II) judge of record tampering during cross-examination of JIT head Wajid Zia in Al-Azizia and Hill Metal Establishment references. Khawaja Haris alleged that without providing him with an opportunity to contest the prosecutor’s assertion, Judge Arshad Malik had made changes to the statement of Wajid Zia.

Leaving the courtroom, Haris said, “I will ask Mian Sahib to change the lawyer; I will not become a party to the proceedings, as these have become farcical. I will not continue”. The Adiala Jail authorities requested the judge to exempt Nawaz from appearance in the court on Friday (today) because of security threat due to protest rallies by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP).

The judge remarked that he was already considering granting an exemption. Haris asked Zia if the JIT had sent any MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance) for the purposes of obtaining audited financial statement or annual audited accounts of the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) and the witness said he will have to consult the record of Volume 10.

On this, Wajid Zia replied that MLA was sent to Saudi Arabia in the sealed Volume 10 of JIT report and he needed the court’s order for obtaining the same from the apex court. The court allowed his request.

Earlier, upon Nawaz’s arrival, several Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders entered the courtroom and some of them were made to leave as the judge called in the security officials. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chaudhry Tanvir, Asif Kirmani, Pervaiz Rashid, Raja Zafarul Haq and other senior party leaders met Nawaz in the courtroom.

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