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SC accepts NAB plea in Avenfield reference

SC accepts NAB plea in Avenfield reference

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has accepted the petition filed by the National Accountability Bureau against the Islamabad High Court order suspending sentences of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield reference.

When the hearing resumed, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the SC will deliberate upon the high court order and see whether it has affected the merit of the case or not.

On Saturday, former prime minister and his daughter contended before the apex court that there was no evidence against them in the reference. They requested the SC to dismiss the NAB appeal.

On November 6, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar after hearing counsels for NAB and Sharif family directed them to submit their written propositions and adjourned the hearing until November 12.

In September, a two-judge bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petitions filed by former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (R) Safdar challenging the Avenfield verdict against them.

The bench suspended their sentences handed by accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir on July 6. Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (R) Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year respectively in prison in the Avenfield properties reference.

On Saturday Maryam Nawaz submitted that she was held guilty for the abetment in acquisition of the Avenfield properties by the principal accused Nawaz Sharif despite the fact there was absolutely no evidence regarding abetment.

She further contended that in absence of proof of ownership of Avenfield properties by the principal accused Nawaz Sharif, the question of abatement does not rise. Even if the ownership stands proved, the same would not make out an offence under Section 9 (a) (v) of NAB Ordinance 1999 for want of proof of its requisite ingredients”, she contended adding that it is a settled law that in order to make out an offence under Section 9 (a) (v) of NAB Ordinance 1999, the prosecution is required to prove the requisite four ingredients.

She further said that the learned trial court has not mentioned any evidence in the impugned judgment to suggest any aid, abetment, assistance or acting in conspiracy in the matter of acquisition of the properties allegedly acquired during 1993-1996. Hence, the mischief of Section 9 (a) (x11) is not attracted.

Similarly, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in his reply contended that the accountability court announced its decision without providing any evidence of the value of the London flats.

He submitted that no records were provided which could prove the value of the properties adding that the anti-graft body built a case around the supposition that the value of assets owned exceeds the income but did not state what worth of the assets is and what the income amounts to.

The former prime minister said that a decision was given without comparing the value of the two hence he termed the accountability court’s decision non-maintainable.