ISLAMABAD - The NAB prosecutor yesterday concluded his arguments in Al-Aziziya reference case at accountability court. In Monday’s hearing on Al-Aziziya Steel Mills reference, the NAB prosecutor made his conclusive arguments, while Khawaja Harris, counsel for Mian Nawaz Sharif, will make his conclusive arguments in the reference on Tuesday. During the hearing, Judge Accountability Court Arshad Malik, listening to arguments and counter-arguments of defence and prosecutor, remarked that telling lies bluntly had become culture of courts.

“Everyone, including the defendant and the accused, uses to take shelter under lies with high expectations from the judges to make justice based on truth,” he observed. The judge, making arguments with the NAB prosecutor, remarked that there could be many options to record statement of Qatari Prince. Letter could have been dispatched to Qatari court for assistance to record the statement of Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim. It might have been in the knowledge of Qatari prince that the issue in which he has been taking part, had its own consequences with law and court of that country, the judge said.

The judge also remarked that in the letter of Qatari Prince, there was no mention of wish and will of Mian Sharif. If there had been mention of Mian Sharif in Qatari Prince, even then, the property of Mian Sharif might have been disbursed among three brothers of Sharif, he added.

The NAB prosecutor Wasiq Malik informed the court that such circumstances were created for Tariq Shafi that his return to Pakistan was made impossible. He said that Tariq Shafi appeared before Panama JIT, if he had been facing any threats, he should have informed either this court or the apex court. He said that the accused did not present any evidence and record to testify that Hassan and Hussain Nawaz were in custodianship of their grandfather. He said that in the miscellaneous plea of the accused, there was no mention of Mian Sharif’s will.

As per accused, it was will of Mian Sharif to handover Qatari investment money to Hussain Nawaz. In the entire case, the accused assumed stance that capital was provided by their grandfather, said Wasiq Malik, adding that the accused did not present any document to testify their stance. Amount sent from abroad could be termed anything except a gift, said Wasiq Malik. He said that Nawaz got direct payment from Hill Metal Establishment in his account. The company did not pay anything in connection with gift to anyone.

Wasiq Malik also stated that record showed Nawaz got 88 percent of profit from Hill Metal Establishment. He also added that 97 percent capital from Hill Metal Establishment came to Pakistan. He also stated that there were contradictions in first and second letters of Qatari Prince presented in the apex court. In the first letter, Qatari Prince mentioned that for 12 million Dirham, Avenfield Properties were shifted to Hussain Nawaz. In the second letter, worksheet was pinned with the letter with stature that after approval, flats were given. The NAB prosecutor also pointed out that the Qatari prince was witness of the accused but they did not present him in the court in their defence. It was also confirmed with the reply of UAE authorities that the amount of 12 million Dirhams was never transferred to Qatar.

Judge Accountability Court Arshad Malik remarked that worksheet was presented when mills came to notice after Avenfield Properties. “Will the defence counsel reply as to what is the importance of Qatari letter, if he did not visit to record his statement,” Judge Accountability Court Arshad Malik enquired? On this, the NAB prosecutor also pointed out that after reply of the UAE authorities, there was no importance left for Qatari prince’s letter. On ownership of Al-Aziziya Mills, the judge enquired whether name of Mian Sharif was mentioned in record of Al-Aziziya Steel Mills.

“Is there any record, who established the mills; when and where,” the judged enquired. The NAB prosecutor Wasiq Malik stated that in any document of Al-Aziziya, there was no mention of Mian Sharif. “Name of Hussain Nawaz is mentioned in sale agreement of Al-Aziziya Steel Mills,” he said. “As per Hussain Nawaz, with sale of Al-Aziziya Steel Mills, Hill Metal Establishment was established,” said Wasiq Malik, adding that as per the accused, the seed money was provided by Qatari prince. “Was the money of Qatari, so plentiful that it rooted businesses everywhere,” said the NAB prosecutor. He said that record of all companies and steel mills was kept hidden intentionally. The AC judge also remarked that this evidence was too lengthy. He enquired as to what documents the accused could present. The NAB prosecutor replied that incorporation certificate of the companies; bank r ecord and memorandum of article could be presented through which it could be ascertained who got registered the company and who made investment.

 Hassan and Hussain became proclaimed offenders but they did not appear before the court. If the entire capital was provided by their grandfather, Hassan and Hussain should prove that in the court of law but they left Pakistan, said Wasiq Malik, adding the accused were taking refuge technically behind Nawaz Sharif.

In Monday’s hearing, Nawaz Sharif sought exemption from court’s attendee due to pain in his knees.

From Tuesday (today), Khawaja Harris, defence counsel of Nawaz Sharif, will start making his conclusive arguments.