Another witness testifies in Toshakhana case

Another witness testified before an accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau against former president Asif Ali Zardari and ex-PM Nawaz Sharif.

The court recorded the statement of Mohammad Ahad, deputy secretary of the Cabinet Division, and made the documents he had submitted part of the case record.

Judge Syed Asghar Ali later adjourned the hearing of the case till December 16.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, a co-accused in the case, said he and his legal team wanted to ensure that the witnesses submitted authentic documents to the court. “Photostat copies without verification are not valid,” he added.

During the previous hearing, the court had recorded the statement of another prosecution witness, Zubair Siddiqui.

Zardari and Sharif have been accused by the NAB of illegally retaining expensive vehicles gifted to them by different foreign states and dignitaries instead of depositing them in the Toshakhana.

The anti-graft body also maintained that Gilani, during his tenure as the prime minister, facilitated the Zardari in retaining the vehicles.

According to the anti-corruption body, Zardari and Sharif retained the vehicles “against a nominal payment of 15% of their total value” through “dishonest and illegal means for their personal benefit and interest”.

The court had indicted Zardari and Gilani in the case and declared Sharif a proclaimed offender.

At a previous hearing, Gilani told the court that he had never carried out any action against the rules.

“Only a summary [for allowing the retention of vehicles] that came according to the law was approved. Had the summary been wrong, it would not have been moved,” he maintained.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)