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NAB to challenge IHC’s verdict about Sharifs’ sentences in SC

SLAMABAD (Muslim Times) – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday decided to challenge Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict of suspending sentences of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar in Avenfield reference, in the Supreme Court.

The decision has been taken in a meeting presided over by anti-graft watchdog chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.

The anti-graft agency will challenge IHC’s judgement after receiving attested copies of court verdict.

Earlier, IHC had suspended sentences of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar in Avenfield reference.

Justice Athar Minallah, while announcing the verdict, directed to release Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar over surety bonds worth Rs0.5 million each until final decision on their pleas.

During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor had said that no evidence regarding transfer of 12 million dirham has been found while the agreement of selling 25 percent shares of Gulf Steel Mills was also fake.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have also not verified the transfer of the money, he added.

Responding to the question, NAB prosecutor said the accused adopted the stance in Supreme Court (SC) that they bought London flats by selling Gulf Steel Mills. He said Maryam Nawaz had told the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that she is her father’s dependent.

Previously, the bench inquired why Maryam Nawaz had been convicted under Section-9A of the NAB’s ordinance if assets were owned by Nawaz Sharif. The bench further asked how two individuals can be convicted on assets owned by a single person.

“How Nawaz Sharif can own property when the ownership of the same rests with his children? Does court announce verdict merely on basis of this myth?”, remarked Justice Athar Minallah.

NAB’s prosecutor argued law turns onus of proof on accused after ownership of flats [by Sharifs] has been established. He said, “The agreement of money transfer turned out to be fake. Likewise, the deed declaring Maryam Nawaz trustee was also proved fake. She possesses assets beyond her declared source of income”.

NAB prosecutor further added Sharifs had not registered ‘Calibri font’ trust deed in UK. He said, “Maryam Nawaz crafted this trust deed and declared his brother beneficial owner”.

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