PakistanPolitics

Nawaz Sharif’s Sons Acquitted in NAB Cases

Hasan and Hussain Nawaz, sons of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, have been acquitted in corruption cases related to Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship company, and Avenfield apartments. The accountability court granted relief to the brothers on Tuesday, following their petitions for acquittal.

The brothers’ counsel, Qazi Misbah, argued that the proceedings could not continue based on allegations of abetting a crime when the main suspect had already been acquitted. He highlighted that Nawaz Sharif was exonerated by the trial court in the Flagship reference, and the National Accountability Court (NAB) withdrew its appeal against this verdict on November 29 of the previous year.

Deputy Prosecutor NAB, Azhar Maqbool, informed the court that the Supreme Court’s verdict did not obstruct the case, hence, the court could announce its verdict on the petition. He also clarified that the petition was not related to the NAB amendment. In the cases against Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, and Capt (retd) Safdar, the high court had already announced its verdict.

Maqbool stated that the NAB did not file an appeal against Maryam’s acquittal, but Hasan and Hussain were accused of abetting and conspiring. He further added that the main suspect in the cases, wherein Hasan and Hussain were alleged of involvement, were acquitted.

Misbah, the defendant lawyer, said Nawaz was exonerated on the same documents on which Maryam was acquitted and the accountability watchdog did not file an appeal against their acquittal. He apprised that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict’s copy in the case was available on the court’s website.

Misbah said the NAB could not present any evidence in the reference against Maryam and Nawaz, hence, the IHC acquitted them in the case. He added that the IHC accepted Nawaz Sharif’s appeal in December 2023 in the Al-Azizia case, and the NAB did not challenge the decision to approve Nawaz Sharif’s appeal.

Misbah argued that NAB did not present any additional evidence on the basis of which the case should be proceeded against Hasan and Hussain. He said prosecuting Hasan and Hussain would be a waste of court’s time, adding that they could not be convicted on the basis of the evidence available with the court.

On March 14, an accountability court had approved bail of both brothers in exchange for Rs50,000 bond each in the three references pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mill, Avenfield apartments, and Flagship. The court also cancelled the brothers’ perpetual arrest warrants and fugitive status in the said cases.

Upon petitions filed by Nawaz’s sons for acquittal, the accountability court had issued a notice to the NAB.

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