The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is currently overseeing the hearing of a petition filed by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, challenging his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.
The division bench, led by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, is conducting the proceedings after having acquitted Sharif in the Avenfield reference on November 29.
The Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference revolves around Sharif’s seven-year jail sentence imposed on December 24, 2018.
He was also fined Rs1.5 billion and US$25 million, with the case centering on the alleged inability of the Sharif family to justify the funding source.
After being declared a proclaimed offender in December 2020, Nawaz Sharif, on medical grounds, spent nearly four years in London.
Upon his return, he formally filed applications seeking the restoration of his appeals against convictions in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia references.
The IHC, on October 24, revived Nawaz’s appeals in both references.
The hearing, was attended by Nawaz and senior PML-N leaders. Addressed arguments from PML-N lawyer Amjad Pervaiz.
He highlighted that the Al-Azizia reference accused Nawaz of holding assets beyond means. Emphasizing the lack of eyewitnesses among the 22 witnesses presented.
Pervaiz argued that the references, including Flagship and Avenfield. Should have been consolidated, as they stemmed from a single Supreme Court judgment.
The lawyer contended that the Al-Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment. Established in Saudi Arabia by Nawaz’s son, Hussain Nawaz. And were wrongly labeled as benaami (unnamed) companies.
During the proceedings, the NAB prosecutor mentioned the video scandal involving former accountability judge Arshad Malik, but Nawaz’s counsel chose not to pursue the matter.
Justice Aurangzeb pointed out that even if remanded, Nawaz Sharif would be considered accused, not convicted. The hearing continues as the legal intricacies unfold.