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Thursday Jan 03 2019

Nawaz files appeal on Al-Azizia verdict in IHC

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader requested the court to release him on bail. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday filed an appeal against Al-Azizia steel mills under which he requested suspension of his sentence until the decision on the appeal.

On December 24, 2018, Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik had sentenced Nawaz to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship reference.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader requested the court to release him on bail.

A day earlier, the IHC registrar returned Nawaz’s appeal on grounds of being incomplete. The registrar returned it and directed that it be filed again after the reservations have been addressed.

Al-Azizia reference details

Hussain Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister’s elder son, claims that he received a sum of $5.4 million from his grandfather to establish the steel conglomerate in Saudi Arabia. The payment was made by a Qatari royal on the request of the elder Sharif. Thereafter, scrap machinery was transported from their Ahli Steel Mills in Dubai to Jeddah to establish Al-Azizia in 2001.

The JIT constituted to investigate the graft allegations insisted that the real owner of the mills was Nawaz Sharif, and it was being operated by his son on his behalf. Hussain was 29-years-old at the time. The JIT also held that Nawaz Sharif received 97 per cent profit as ‘gifts’ from Hill Metals Establishment, another company established by Hussain Nawaz Sharif in 2005, in Saudi Arabia.

Of the amount, Nawaz Sharif transferred 77 percent to his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif. (Maryam is not accused in this reference). Here as well, the NAB claims that since Sharif received a large profit from Hussain’s companies, he is the real owner and not his son. However, during the proceedings the NAB could not substantiate its claim through documentary evidences and instead placed the burden of proof on the accused.


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