Nawaz appears before NAB court in Al-Azizi, Flagship cases

ISLAMABAD – Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday reached an accountability court in the capital to attend the hearing of the corruption reference against him. Accountability court judge Arshad Malik will hear the Al-Azizi and Flagship Investment corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Panamagate verdict last year.

Khawaja Harris, the counsel for the former premier, will resume cross-examination of the last prosecution witness, Investigation Officer Mohammad Kamran, in the Flagship Investment reference. Meanwhile, both parties, the Sharif family and NAB, will submit their final argument in the Al-Aziza case today.

No Evidence Sons Dependent Upon Nawaz During yesterday’s hearing, the investigation officer of the NAB during cross-examination revealed that there is no proof that both sons of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were dependent upon him for establishing the business.

Mohammad Kamran, the last prosecution witness of the anti-graft buster, informed the accountability court that he did not find any evidence that proved Sharif’s link with the Flagship Investment and other 16 companies owned by his sons – Hassan and Hussain Nawaz. However, the Panamagate joint investigation team (JIT) in its report claimed that Hussain Nawaz established Al-Azizia and Hill Metal Steel Mills during the exile of the former premier, adding that he started other businesses along with his brother in UK in 2001.

The last prosecution during the testimony said that there is no proof or witness that Sharif had provided money to his sons for establishing Flagship Investment and other companies in the UK. He further added that both brothers were running their business in the UK legally as they were never grilled by any authority of the foreign country for any misdeed.

The Cases As many as three references have been filed against the former premier in line with the directives of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case verdict – a decision that ousted Nawaz Sharif from the PM House in July last year. The accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir had sentenced the elder Sharif to ten years in the Avenfield reference.

However, the conviction was suspended by a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court. NAB has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the Islamabad High Court which will hear the case on December 12. Besides Sharif, Maryam Nawaz was sentenced to 7 years and Captain Safdar was sentenced to one year in prison in the Avenfield reference which pertains to the pricey flats of the former ruling family.