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Sharif’s counsel accuses accountability court judge of record tampering

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel on Thursday accused the accountability court judge of record tempering in the Al-Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment reference.

During cross examination of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia, Khawaja Haris alleged that the judge Arshad Malik made changes in the statement of JIT’s chief on the instance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi.

This, he added, was done during the witness’s cross examination without providing him an opportunity to contest prosecutor’s assertion.
“I will not continue … I will ask mian sahab [Nawaz Sharif] to change lawyer … I will not become a party to the proceedings … these proceedings have become farcical,” Haris said before leaving the courtroom.

“I will not allow any court to temper the record,” he said, adding the court made the change without listening to him. He said the judge should have listened to NAB’s objection, taken his answer, written a new sentence instead of changing the previous one but the judge simply changed the sentence on NAB prosecutor’s objection.

“The learned court changed the already recorded answer given by the witness in cross examination by deleting the words “it is incorrect to suggest” and adding another sentence as part of this witness’s statement in the form of a suggestion,” four associates of Haris stated in an application seeking adjournment till Monday to enable the defence team to avail remedy against the change.

The application read that the defence intends to challenge the change made in the recording of the deposition of Zia and to put the record straight. The counsel prayed for adjournment till Monday so that they could avail remedy from the Islamabad High Court, which was granted.

Sharif’s exemption sought

Meanwhile, before Sharif was transported back to jail, Adiala jail authorities sought an exemption for deposed premier Sharif’s appearance in court on August 31 citing security threats due to a protest by a right-wing political party.

The judge remarked that he was already considering granting exemption and added that now the situation has changed altogether.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik has launched a protest march and is marching towards the capital to protest against a blasphemous cartoon contest in the Netherlands. The rally will reach Islamabad either Thursday night or Friday if negotiations between the government and the protesters are not successful.

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