An accountability court in Islamabad Monday ordered Pakistan`s anti-graft body to record former prime minister Nawaz Sharif`s statement by November 30 in the Toshakhana corruption case, media reports said.
Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court in Islamabad heard the Toshakhana corruption case against the 73-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo who returned to Pakistan on October 21 after about four years of self-imposed exile in London, news wire PTI reported.
Sharif`s lawyer, Qazi Misbah, urged the court to issue directions to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on recording the three-time prime minister`s statements in the case.
“A supplementary reference needs to be filed a reference was filed in the absence of Nawaz,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper. “We want the NAB to record Nawaz`s position,” he added.
The NAB prosecutor sought time to go through the petition. However, Judge Bashir ordered the accountability bureau to record Sharif`s statements in the case by November 30 and adjourned the proceedings till then.
“What is the problem? Call Nawaz Sharif and record his statement,” Judge Bashir was quoted as saying.
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In June 2020, an accountability court issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Sharif when he was in London and, in September, declared him a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana vehicles case.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari, 68, and ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, 71, are also accused in the same case.
In the case, the NAB accused Sharif and Zardari of illegally retaining expensive vehicles gifted to them by various foreign countries and dignitaries instead of depositing them in the Toshakhana, the state depository.
According to the country`s top anti-corruption body, Zardari and Sharif got cars in 2008 by paying just 15 per cent of their price and Gilani, during his tenure as prime minister, facilitated the two in retaining the vehicles.
According to the rules, gifts given to officials should be deposited in the Toshakhana, established in 1974. Officials can, however, keep the gifts by paying a certain percentage of the price assessed by the Toshakhana evaluation committee. (With inputs from agencies)