ISLAMABAD - An Accountability Court (AC) on Thursday testified two witnesses in 'Toshakhana' corruption reference against former president Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

AC-III Judge Syed Asghar Ali conducted the hearing in 'Toshakhana' vehicles' reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the above accused. Yousaf Raza Gilani appeared before the court while Asif Ali Zardari was granted one-day exemption from the hearing. At the outset of hearing, Zardari's lawyer Farouk H Naek pleaded that he would conduct cross examining with the witnesses on the next hearing as the NAB had not informed the defense regarding their testimony. 

He also submitted one-day exemption request for his client, which was accepted by the judge.  NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardari Muzafar Abbasi opposed the stance of defense and said the cross examining of witnesses should be done on the same day. 

He said the defense lawyer was supposed to do cross examining of the witness after he testified by the court. After this, the prosecution would produce its second witness, he said, adding that it could not show all witnesses to the defense. Abbasi prayed the court to precede the case on day to day basis. To this Farouk H Naek contended that the NAB even could not complete its investigation in last two and a half years but now it wanted early completion of trial. The judge said the prosecution had submitted a list of three witnesses on last hearing on testimony this day.

Meanwhile, the NAB witness Muhammad Imran Zafar said he had been serving in Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as deputy director confidential. NAB through a letter on February 7, 2019 had demanded details pertaining to nominations papers of Asif Ali Zardari and his assets submitted in 2008. He said he had appeared before NAB investigation officer on February 12, 2019 in Toshakhana case and shared copies of documents with him.

Farouk H Naek objected over the statement and said the prosecutor was interfering into the process.  NAB prosecutor said the defense lawyer was raising unnecessary objections in a bid to delay the trial. Another witness Assistant Director Excise and Taxation Waqarul Hassan Shah was summoned by NAB investigation officer in Toshakhana case and he shared the record by three vehicles owned by Asif Zardari.