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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Tuesday, acquitted Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, sons of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield, Al-Azizia, and Flagship references.

Accountability Court judge Nasir Javed Rana, while announcing its reserved verdict, acquitted Hassan and Hussain Nawaz in three corruption references.

Earlier, the court reserved its verdict after the completion of arguments by the defence and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor.

The same court seven years ago had declared Hassan and Hussain Nawaz as proclaimed offenders for not appearing before the court.

The court declared both the suspects on November 15, 2017, in Avenfield and Flagship references and in Al-Azizia reference on October 9, 2017.

Qazi Misbahul Hasan and NAB deputy prosecutor Azhar Maqbool appeared before the court. At the start of the hearing, the court inquired Deputy Prosecutor NAB about the report he was supposed to submit regarding the acquittal application. Maqbool, while arguing before the court, said that the Supreme Court’s judgment was not a hurdle in the case and accountability court could decide this case. The main accused in Hassan and Hussain Nawaz cases had been acquitted, he said, adding the NAB had not filed any appeal against the acquittal of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz as well as Captain Safdar (retired), 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 defence counsel told the court that prosecuting Hassan and Nawaz in this case would be a waste time of the court. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has acquitted Maryam Nawaz from the case, he said.

Misbah said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz was exonerated by the trial court in the Flagship reference, while the NAB withdrew its appeal against the trial court’s verdict as well on November 29, last year.

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

The court after hearing arguments reserved its verdict.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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