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Thursday July 18, 2024

Hasan, Hussain Nawaz acquitted in three NAB cases

Running a case against Hasan and Hussain would be a waste of court’s time, says counsel Misbah

By Arfa Feroz Zake
March 19, 2024
Hasan Nawaz (left) and Hussain Nawaz are seen in this photo together. — AFP/File
Hasan Nawaz (left) and Hussain Nawaz are seen in this photo together. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday acquitted Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz — sons of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif — in three corruption cases pertaining to Flagship, Avenfield apartments and Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

During the hearing earlier in the day, Qazi Misbah, who was representing the brothers, argued that the PML-N supremo Nawaz and father of both suspects was acquitted by the trial court in the Flagship reference, while the National Accountability Court (NAB) had withdrawn the appeal against the trial court verdict on November 29, 2023.

The proceedings, he added, could not be carried out on the allegations of assistance in a crime, when the main suspect in the case had been vindicated.

At the outset of the case, the court inquired Deputy Prosecutor NAB Azhar Maqbool about the report to be submitted 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 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.

Court cancels Hasan, Hussain's perpetual arrest warrants

Last week 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.