ISLAMABAD - The accountability court Thursday turned down the petition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar seeking permission to visit London.

Accountability Court judge Muhammad Bashir dismissed the petition of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (r) Safdar seeking exemption from appearing in the court.

The counsel for Sharif family filed a petition for grant of exemption to Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (r) Safdar from court appearance from June 11 to June 15 on the ground that they want to visit Kalsoom Nawaz in London. However, the accountability court judge dismissed the petition.

The NAB prosecutor, while resuming arguments in the Avenfield properties case, stated the statement of the Qatari prince is irrelevant and identity of owners was hidden by purchasing properties through offshore companies. Nawaz Sharif is the real owner of the London properties, he added.

NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar said it was contended during the cross-questioning that the Qatari prince was threatened, but it is not right as the Qatari prince had laid down conditions to record his statement before the JIT. The Qatari prince was not willing to appear in the Pakistan Embassy or in the court to record his statement, he said. He said the JIT had offered the Qatari prince to visit the Pakistan Embassy in Doha to record his statement, but he avoided to appear before the investigation team to record his statement.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court that the JIT invited Qatari Prince Hammad bin Jassim on May 24, 2017, to record his statement. On refusal, he was again summoned on June 22, 2017, but he did not appear before it, he added.

The NAB prosecutor also told the court that letters of Muzek Fonseca are tantamount to undeniable documented evidence that Maryam Nawaz is the beneficial owner of the London flats. He also stated that Muzek Fonseca in its letters to FIA and BVI in 2012 also verified that Maryam Nawaz was the beneficial owner.

There is no mention of any trustee in the letters of Muzek Fonseca, said Sardar Muzaffar, adding the defence lawyer did not raise objection to the stance of Robert Redley that before 2007 Calibre font was not available commercially in the market. Redley affirmed in his statement that before 2007 only IT professionals or those who were given access to Calibri font could use it. Redley was also among those IT experts who were using this font before 2007 because he has expertise and has been associated with this profession since 1974, Sardar Muzaffar said.

The NAB prosecutor, quoting Hussain Nawaz, said he had admitted that his father Nawaz Sharif was the real owner of the London flats.

As per available record and the trust deed, in case of death of Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz will assume the authority to distribute the assets of her brother (Hussain Nawaz). The content of the trust deed is like a testament, the NAB prosecutor said, adding Stephen Morley, without seeing the trust deed, gave his legal opinion. Gallard Cooper’s trust deed was in detail and could help in giving opinion.

The NAB prosecutor averred Nawaz Sharif in his public speeches and address to the Parliament had stated that all record of the London properties was available with them. In his public speeches and address to the nation as the prime minister of Pakistan, he had never mentioned the Qatari prince, he added.

“It is evident from the evidence that Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz did not have any source of income when these London flats were purchased. Maryam Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz and Hussein Nawaz were dependent on Nawaz Sharif at the time of purchasing these flats. Interviews of the accused have been made part of the judicial record as evidence,” the NAB prosecutor contended, adding interviews of the accused would be considered as evidence against them. The defence offered by the accused in the apex court had proven false, he said, adding they had established with documented evidences that the stance of the accused was wrong. He also stated that the defence counsel was skipping arguments and the accused wanted to avoid appearing in the court by seeking exemptions to leave the country.

The defence counsel also stated the defence lawyer had also filed a petition in the high court to postpone final arguments. The prosecutor feared the accused could run away abroad on the excuse of exemption. He said the two accused in this case have already been declared proclaimed offenders. If they were also allowed to leave the country, no one will be left to face the case, he added.