ISLAMABAD - An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday rejected the plea of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to record the statement of the prosecution witness and the Joint Investigation Team head Wajid Zia in all the three references against him in one go.

The trial court summoned Zia to record his statements in these references separately.

As per court orders, Zia would depose before the court in Flagship Investment companies reference on March 5, in Al-Azizia Steel Mills rreference on March 7 and in Avenfield Properties reference on March 8 and he would be cross-examined by the defence counsel on the same day.

Earlier in the day, trial court judge Mohammad Bashir reserved judgment on the matter after hearing arguments from both sides.

Arguing on the issue of recording of statement of Zia in all the three references in one go, defence counsel Khawaja Haris said that the Islamabad High Court in its order had directed to club the prosecution witness’s statement in all the three references.

He further said that Zia’s recording of the statement and facing cross-examination in all the three references separately would weaken their defence and the court should record his statement in one go in all the three cases.

The prosecution counsel said that as all the three references were separate so the statement of Zia in all these cases should be treated separately.

Later in the day the court rejected the defence counsel plea and directed Wajid Zia to depose separately in all the three cases.

Meanwhile, the court recorded statements of prosecution witnesses in Flagship Investment companies and Al-Azizia Steel Mills references who were later cross-examined by the defence counsel.

In Flagship Investment Company reference, witness Abdul Hanan recorded his statement while in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference, witness Sunil Ejaz recorded his statement. Both the witnesses were later testified by the defence counsel after which the hearing was put off till March 5.