Nawaz can't be declared 'benamidar' owner of Al-Aziizia Mills: Haris tells court

Nawaz can't be declared 'benamidar' owner of Al-Aziizia Mills: Haris tells court

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris pleaded before the Accountability Court (AC) of Islamabad that his client could not be declared a 'benamidar' owner of assets on account of taking any benefit from them.

Giving final arguments in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, he said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had never depended on the Gulf Steel Mills financially and he had also no first-hand information about it.

AC Judge Arshad Malik heard the reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family members. Nawaz Sharif could not appear before the AC due to his appearance before the Supreme Court.

Khawaja Haris apprised the court that the joint investigation report (JIT) had also admitted in its report that the former prime minister had given a statement about the Gulf Steel Mills on the basis of heresy.

He said his client had nothing to do with the letters of Qatri prince, which only pertained to his son Hassan Nawaz.

Talking about the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, he said there were three shareholders of it, including Hussain Nawaz, Abbas Sharif and Rabia Sharif.

The investigation officer's statement was an unacceptable evidence in accordance of law, he said.

Khawaja Haris claimed said the prosecution could not present any evidence against Nawaz Sharif to prove him as a 'benamdar' owner of the assets. Only receiving money from his son through the Hill Metal Establishment did not prove Nawaz as owner of the assets, he said, adding that the accused did not receive any amount from the Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

Nawaz Sharif did not hold any public office when the Al-Azizia Steel Mills was established, he added.

The counsel said the JIT did not investigate transfer of money from HME to his client.

He said Hassan Nawaz was 29 in 2001 when the Al-Azizia Steel Mills was established. The prosecution did not present any evidence to prove that Hassan Nawaz was dependent of his father, he maintained.

Later, the court adjourned the case till Wednesday, wherein Haris would continue his final arguments.