ISLAMABAD - Khawaja Harris, counsel for former premier Nawaz Sharif, Friday contended before the accountability court that his client was neither a beneficial owner of Avenfield properties nor had he any connection with them.

While offering conclusive arguments on the corruption references filed by NAB against Nawaz Sharif, Harris asserted all the documents presented by the NAB regarding the Avenfield properties had failed to prove any link with his client. He said the name of Sharif had not been found anywhere and at any stage to prove that these properties belonged to him or he had ever played a role to purchase them.

He said it was the responsibility of the prosecution to prove the ownership of London flats, but the NAB had failed to establish the case against Sharif.

The defence counsel took the plea that all the documents furnished by the NAB to prove the ownership of London flats did not mention the name of Sharif either among the buyers or the holders of these properties. He said Sharif did not have any link with the offshore companies through which the Avenfield apartments were bought. He claimed the prosecution failed to prove any linkage between these companies and Sharif.

Harris further contended some documents presented by the NAB did not prove any link of his client with Avenfield apartments, adding there was no mention of Avenfield properties in the charge-sheet against him. He argued the NAB was relying on miscellaneous petitions and affidavit of Tariq Shafi, but the name of Sharif had not been mentioned in any capacity in the affidavit or in the miscellaneous petitions.

Harris also pointed out that in the second affidavit presented by Shafi there was no mention and involvement of Sharif in the Avenfield apartments. He said as per the statement of Shafi, Mian Sharif (father of Nawaz Sharif) sold out 75 percent shares of Gulf Steel Mills in 1978 and, as per the 1980 agreement, he decided to distance himself from the affairs of the mill.

Harris also stated that as per the correspondence made by the JIT with the UAE authorities through the mutual legal assistance, the name of Sharif had not been mentioned anywhere.

On the other hand, the miscellaneous petitions filed by Sharif in the Supreme Court were not brought on the prosecution record, Harris said, adding the trust deed was between Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz and no third stakeholder was involved in that particular issue. “This trust deed has also no link with Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

The court adjourned the hearing in the Avenfield properties reference until June 25.

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI