The Accountability Court resumed hearing the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. 

As the hearing went underway at Accountability Court II, defence lawyer Khawaja Harris continued the cross-examination of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) star witness Wajid Zia. 

The NAB Prosecutor Wasiq Malik objected to a question regarding Volume 10 during today's proceedings. Nawaz’s counsel asked Zia if Volume 10 of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report on Panama case was sealed in presence of the Supreme Court registrar.

Zia, who was the head of the JIT that probed the Panama Papers case, said he did not remember as a year had passed since the report was submitted. 

Harris further asked the witness if Volume 10 was sealed in front of him, to which Zia replied in affirmative.

However, the witnesses said, he was not sure if the records were sealed before being taken to the Supreme Court. Zia added that court order sheets did not show that Volume 10 was submitted to the Supreme Court on July 10.

The NAB prosecutor then said Volume 10 was present in the Supreme Court in a sealed package. He further requested the court to not allow Nawaz’s lawyer to question Zia regarding the records.

Malik said the question on Volume 10 being present in a sealed package cannot be argued over during the cross-examination. Another petition should be filed in this regard, he added.

The NAB prosecutor also said if Nawaz’s lawyer had any issues pertaining to Volume 10, he could have written to the court instead of probing Zia regarding the documents.

Harris asked for Supreme Court’s order on Volume 10 being sealed and not made public, saying Zia had said during the cross-examination that the records contained letters about mutual legal assistance (MLA).

He said his question was justified as the matter came up during cross-examination. Since it was being used against his side, Nawaz’s counsel added, he had the right to defence.

Over this, NAB prosecutor said MLA and Supreme Court order are two different matters. 

The hearing was later adjourned till September 18.