Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Maryam Nawaz , and Captain (retired) Safdar moved Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging accountability court’s decision dated February 2.

The accountability court on February 2 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 Muhammad 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 under Section 503 of the Code of Criminal Procedure  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, the 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 alleged that the order was also “violative of fundamental right of access to justice, treatment accordance with law, due process and fair trial guaranteed under Article 10 (A) of the constitution, to my clients.”

The counsel requested the court to declare impugned order dated February 2 as illegal, without lawful authority and the same be set aside.

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 added that NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi took the plea before accountability court that the witnesses, Robert M Radley, and Akhtar Raja, the Principal at the Quist Solicitors were willing to record their statements through video link and can’t come to Pakistan due to security threats and heavy engagements.

Radley, being a forensic examiner, had revealed that the type font used in trust deeds of two companies was Calibri which was not commercially available before January 31, 2007 the documents were prepared and signed on an earlier date.