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Sunday April 14, 2024

Nawaz’s counsel says prosecution failed to establish case

By Faisal Kamal Pasha
June 28, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Counsel for the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif Khawaja Haris Wednesday concluded his final arguments in Avenfield apartments corruption reference saying that the prosecution failed to establish its case and the court may acquit his client from the reference.

Khawaja Haris that took seven days to complete his arguments in this matter and said the impression that the accused did not produce any evidence in defence is misconceived since the prosecution did not discharge its burden of proof.

Khawaja Haris has argued over every aspect of the case submitting numerous judgments of the superior judiciary regarding admissibility of the evidence that the prosecution produced in London apartments case. He said persons can lie but not the documents.

Citing a Sindh High Court (SHC) judgment, Khawaja Haris said the NAB prosecution in asset cases formed under Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Ordinance have to prove four things to establish its case. First that the accused was holder of public office, second that the nature and extent of pecuniary resources or property which were found in his possession, third, what were his known sources of income i.e. known to prosecution after thorough investigation and four, such resources or property found in possession of accused were disproportionate to his known sources of income.

In this case, he said, none of the four has been completed and established and prosecution also did not prove that the children of Nawaz Sharif were dependent on him and if he had purchased or provided money for the flats in London.

Khawaja Haris said that for some documents to prove, the prosecution did not associate the persons involved and even the Military Intelligence (MI) and NAB members of the JIT, who had obtained screenshots of Capital FZE, were not produced before this court as witnesses. It is to mention here that the Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif on the basis of an Iqama of FZE.

Khawaja Haris explained that the documents apparently pertain to Nawaz Sharif’s employment contract, payment certificate, personal details, him being the chairman of the board at Capital FZE, but there is nothing in these documents to prove that Nawaz Sharif actually received salary from the company. Nawaz Sharif’s counsel said the Supreme Court interpreted the receivable assets consulting internet, but mentioned Black’s Law Dictionary in Panama case judgment. Addressing to the NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, Haris said “you can check it as well”.

Addressing to the court, Haris said it must be noted that the Capital FZE documents were not public documents and did not come in response to a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) application to the foreign jurisdiction.

Haris said the malafide of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is evident at every stage. “It tried maximum to avoid recording of the statement of Qatari prince Hamad bin Jasim. Jasim never refused to cooperate with the JIT and all he said was that he can’t come to Pakistan and if the JIT decides to visit him in Doha, he may be informed about the date and given a questionnaire in advance. JIT forwarded a questionnaire to Jeremy Freeman but not to Qatari prince,” Haris said.

He further said the foreign documents, including letters of Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Dubai authorities, do not fulfil the criteria set in the Qanun-e-Shahadat.

Counsel for Maryam Nawaz and Captain (R) Safdar, Amjad Pervez would start final arguments today (Thursday).