Nawaz Sharif's sons acquitted in NAB cases

Hassan and Hussain Nawaz had sought acquittal in Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship company and Avenfield apartments case

Arfa Feroz Zake
Hasan Nawaz (left) and Hussain Nawaz (right). — AFP/File
Hasan Nawaz (left) and Hussain Nawaz (right). — AFP/File

  • 'NAB didn't file appeal against Maryam's acquittal'.
  • Azhar Maqbool says main suspect in cases acquitted.
  • Prosecuting Hasan, Hussain "waste of time", says counsel.

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court Tuesday granted relief to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons — Hasan and Hussain — on the petitions seeking acquittal in corruption cases related to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship company and Avenfield apartments.

Earlier, while presenting arguments before the court, the brothers’ counsel Qazi Misbah said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz was exonerated by the trial court in the Flagship reference, while the National Accountability Court (NAB) withdrew its appeal against the trial court verdict as well on November 29, last year.

The lawyer said the proceedings could not be carried out merely on the allegations of abetting in a crime, when the main suspect had been acquitted.

At the outset of the case, the court inquired Deputy Prosecutor NAB Azhar Maqbool about the report he was supposed to submit on the plea. The deputy prosecutor apprised the court that the Supreme Court’s verdict was not a hurdle in the case, hence, the court could announce its verdict on the petition.

Maqbool asked the court to record his statement in this regard, stating that the said petition was not related to the NAB amendment. In those cases against Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar, the high court had announced its verdict, he said.

He said the NAB did not file an appeal against acquittal of Maryam, but Hasan and Hussain were accused of abetting and conspiring.

The NAB prosecutor said the main suspect in the cases, wherein Hasan and Hussain were alleged of involvement, were acquitted.

The defendant lawyer, Misbah 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.

“The IHC accepted Nawaz Sharif's appeal in December 2023 in Al-Azizia case. The NAB did not challenge the decision to approve Nawaz Sharif's appeal,” he said.

NAB, the lawyer said, did not present any additional evidence on the basis of which the case should be proceeded against Hasan and Hussain.

Prosecuting Hasan and Hussain would be a waste of court’s time, Misbah said, 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 brother's 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.