Court asks Nawaz’s counsel to prove SC verdict wrong


ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Thursday directed Khawaja Haris to convince the court that the Supreme Court’s verdict in Panama Papers case was wrong and that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is honest and righteous.

“How can we trust Nawaz Sharif after the Supreme Court verdict that he is not Saadiq and Ameen. Khawaja Haris should convince the court on this legal point,” remarked Accountability Judge Arshad Malik during the hearing of the Al-Azizia reference.

Although the court concluded arguments from defence and prosecution in Al-Azizia reference, Judge Malik said that he would ask questions from both sides.

Setting aside a request from NAB deputy prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi for reserving judgement in the Al-Azizia reference, the judge ruled that the court would commence final arguments in Flagship reference against Sharif family from Friday and both the verdicts would be announced simultaneously.

Advocate Abbasi argued that Nawaz and his counsel made conflicting arguments in the case. He argued that Nawaz endorsed the documents presented by his sons Hassan and Hussain and the assets as well as the possession of their assets have also been proved.

The NAB prosecutor said that there is no proof that Tariq Shafi was Mian Sharif’s ‘benamidar’ and it seems from the statement of the accused that they had ‘benami’ assets in the 1970s too.

The NAB deputy prosecutor argued that JIT head Wajid Zia was the star witness in this case. He argued that Wajid Zia had not appeared as a NAB official. “After the Supreme Court’s order in Panama case, NAB separately conducted the inquiry of the reference,” he added.

Abbasi argued that the speeches of former PM Nawaz Sharif were on record and will be presented on other forums too. Judge Arshad Malik responded that Nawaz’s speech should not be considered as a political move. The NAB prosecutor responded that the Supreme Court also didn’t consider the speech as political.

The accountability court judge further remarked that there is evidence to prove factories in Dubai and Jeddah but Nawaz didn’t deny in his speech his ownership of these properties.

The NAB deputy prosecutor said that it seems from the speeches that the former prime minister knew all about these assets. “For proving our case, the NAB only investigated the statements made by the accused and proved that they had lied before the court. Now the NAB has fulfilled its responsibility and the bar is on the suspects to prove the NAB wrong,” argued.

He said that the former Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were deriving benefits from Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment (HME). He said there is no direct evidence in the case of ‘benami’ property.

Judge Malik remarked that after going through the record he will ask some questions. The court adjourned the hearing till today (Friday).