IHC decides to hear Nawaz appeal on merit

Rejects NAB plea of remanding the appeal to AC



ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday decided to hear Paki­stan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference, on merit.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Jus­tice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of Sharif’s ap­peal. The Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad convicted the former prime minister in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metals Establishment corrup­tion references filed by National Accountabil­ity Bureau and awarded him rigorous imprisonment for a term of seven years on De­cember 24, 2018 in the said reference. Sharif had moved the appeal through his coun­sel Khawaja Haris Ahmad and cited the State through chair­man NAB, NAB through its chairman, judge accountabili­ty court–II Islamabad and su­perintendent central jail Kot Lakhpat Lahore as respon­dents. During the hearing, the NAB prosecuted requested the bench to remand back the ap­peal to the accountability court. However, the bench rejected the NAB’s appeal and decided to hear the matter on merit.

Sharif’s lawyer Amjad Per­vez informed the court that there are 22 witnesses in this case and most of them are linked to the bank records.

Justice Aamer asked if the case was linked to the Pana­ma Papers. At this, Pervez re­plied in the affirmative. The lawyer said that three refer­ences were filed in the Pana­ma cases: Al-Azizia, Avenfield and Flagship Investment ref­erences.

He mentioned that an ac­countability court had acquit­ted Sharif in the Flagship ref­erence. He added that the aforementioned three refer­ences were the outcome of one Supreme Court judgment. He contended that a single refer­ence should have been filed against the PML-N leader as all the three references men­tioned accusations of holding assets beyond means.

Sharif’s counsel adopted the stance that it had been estab­lished in the last seven years that Nawaz’s father had estab­lished Al-Azizia mills. He also said that Nawaz Sharif was not linked to it in any way ever.

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