IHC rejects Nawaz’ bail plea in Al-Azizia reference case

IHC rejects Nawaz’ bail plea in Al-Azizia reference case

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected a plea seeking release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds.

An IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced the verdict in the open court.

The bench had on Wednesday reserved the decision on the petition seeking the suspension of the seven-year sentence awarded to Nawaz in the Al-Azizia reference on Feb 20.

On December 24, 2018, Accountability court Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik had convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills Company (ASCL) and Hill Metal Establishment (HME) reference, and awarded him seven years imprisonment with a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million.

The judge in his 131-page judgment in Al-Azizia corruption reference concluded that the prosecution (NAB) successfully established all the ingredients of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices against Nawaz Sharif as defined under section 9 (a) (v) of the NAO 1999 read  with section 14 (c).

“Thereof as per the charge  framed for holding and being true and real beneficial owner of the assets, the Al Azizia Steel Company Limited (ASCL), the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) and related remittances, beyond his known sources of income as he failed to establish contrary thereto.”

The order said Nawaz Sharif and his sons – Hussain and Hassan – are very closely related and members of a tightly knit, monolithic, patriarchal family with close association and jointly held financial business interests. There is nothing on record to suggest that there is any hostility between the three.

It also held that claim of Sharif that he has no beneficial interest or share in ASCL is unsubstantiated, false and fabricated and his son Hussain Nawaz was never the exclusive nor real and beneficial owner.

Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to file petition against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s acquittal in Flagship corruption reference.

The decision was taken in meeting chaired by anti-graft body's chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal chaired. The chairman directed NAB's legal team to timely file an appeal against the verdict with solid evidences and full preparation.