ISLAMABAD - Defence counsel for Nawaz Sharif Khawaja Harris has said the prosecution has failed to prove its charges in Avenfield Properties Reference against the former premier.

Making conclusive arguments in the accountability court, Khawaja Harris stated Joint Investigation Team head Wajid Zia recorded a false statement in the court as the case could not be made against the Sharif family.

He further stated the prosecution tasked the NAB investigation team to visit London to dig out information about London flats to prove Nawaz Sharif is the owner of these flats. The NAB investigation team visited London, but did not hold any meeting with key individual Lawrence Redley who was the witness to the signing of the trust deed.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing in the Avenfield Properties reference Wednesday, but former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were not present in the court as both the accused had been given exemption from appearance on the ground that they wanted to visit London to inquire after ailing Kulsoom Nawaz.

Khawaja Harris stated Nawaz Sharif had never been owner of London flats. He also added it was the responsibility of the prosecution to prove their allegations with substantive evidences and then give the accused the task to defend themselves against the charges. But in this particular case of Avenfield Properties reference, the prosecution has put the burden of proof on the accused, the defence counsel said.

He also pointed out the prosecution did not provide any information about the known sources of income of Nawaz Sharif. He questioned if the prosecution failed to provide the known sources of income of the former premier, how it can establish discrepancies in his assets and income sources.

It has been the responsibility and duty of the prosecution to prove their charges with substantive evidences instead of hurling allegations, he added.

Khawaja Harris, citing the verdict in the reference against Hakim Ali Zardari, stated that in that case the court identified four stages in connection with evidence: ownership of assets, assets named to someone else, holding any public office and assets beyond known sources of income.

He stated JIT Head Wajid Zia in his statement categorically stated that Nawaz Sharif has never been involved in carrying out affairs of Gulf Steel Mills directly. Similarly, he said, any witness did not confirm Hassan Nawaz was either dependent of Nawaz Sharif or subservient to him in any business activity.

He also stated JIT Head Wajid Zia recorded a false statement in the court. He said the investigation officer had confirmed that they personally visited London, but did not coordinate with Lawrence Redley. He said Lawrence Redley categorically stated that the trust deed was signed in his presence. He questioned why the JIT did not coordinate with such an important individual who is the prime witness of the trust deed signing. Hearing on the case was adjourned until Thursday when the defence counsel will continue his conclusive arguments.



NAB failed to prove charges against Nawaz: Harris