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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nawaz’s Sons Acquitted in NAB references

Additionally, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had withdrawn its appeal against the trial court's decision on November 29, 2023.

On Tuesday, an accountability court delivered a verdict acquitting Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, the sons of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif, in three corruption cases related to Flagship, Avenfield apartments, and Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

During the day’s hearing, Qazi Misbah, representing the brothers, emphasized that Nawaz Sharif, their father, had been acquitted by the trial court in the Flagship reference. Additionally, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had withdrawn its appeal against the trial court’s decision on November 29, 2023.

Misbah argued that conducting proceedings against the brothers for alleged involvement in a crime when the main suspect, Nawaz Sharif, had been cleared, was unjustifiable.

At the start of the case, the court asked Deputy Prosecutor NAB Azhar Maqbool about the report to be submitted regarding the plea. Maqbool informed the court that the Supreme Court’s verdict did not impede the case’s progress, allowing the court to issue its ruling on the petition.

Maqbool clarified that the petition was unrelated to the NAB amendment and highlighted that the high court had already delivered its verdict in cases involving Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, and Capt (retd) Safdar.

Main accused already acquitted 

He noted that while NAB did not appeal Maryam’s acquittal, Hasan and Hussain faced allegations of abetting and conspiring. However, the main suspect in the cases related to Hasan and Hussain’s involvement had been acquitted.

Misbah underscored that Nawaz and Maryam had been acquitted based on the same documents, and NAB had not challenged their acquittal. He also mentioned that the Islamabad High Court’s verdict was available on the court’s website.

Misbah argued that NAB failed to present any substantial evidence against Maryam and Nawaz, leading to their acquittal by the IHC. He further mentioned that the IHC had accepted Nawaz Sharif’s appeal in December 2023 in the Al-Azizia case, and NAB did not contest this decision.

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Misbah concluded that prosecuting Hasan and Hussain further would be futile as there was insufficient evidence to convict them, thus saving the court’s time. Last week, the court had granted bail to the brothers in exchange for a Rs50,000 bond each and revoked their perpetual arrest warrants and fugitive status in the mentioned cases, following petitions filed by Nawaz’s sons for acquittal, which prompted the accountability court to issue a notice to NAB.