Jun 8, 2018 — Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif bought the Avenfield properties in London with embezzled money which is why he transferred the ownership to his children, remarked National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi while presenting his concluding arguments on the reference case against Sharifs.
The Avenfield reference pertaining to the Sharifs’ London properties is among three filed against the family by NAB last year on the Supreme Court’s directives.
During the hearing on Friday in capital Islamabad, Abbasi said, “Nawaz claimed during one of his speeches that those who buy property through corrupt means do not put it in their name.”
The deputy prosecutor general said, “Nawaz’s statements were presented in the court as evidence from the prosecution, which meant to prove that public office holders do not keep illegally earned assets in their name.”
He further stated that there were proofs of Nawaz being the actual owner of the London flats.
The NAB official said all the accused of the Sharif family admitted to owning the properties but their statements differed when it came to the source of income with which the apartments were bought by them. The official stated that the accused did not justify the sources for acquisition of the London luxury flats.
He argued that the prosecution’s job was to prove that the properties were in possession of the accused standing trial under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO); it did prove the accusation.
Sardar contended that whatever sources the accused provided to the court have already been rebutted and proven ‘fake’ adding that the onus of proof was on the accused now.
The NAB official remarked that Nawaz and his family hid their ownership through offshore companies adding that there were no records to show that bearers shares were transferred from Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani to Hussain Nawaz, as claimed by the former ruling family.
Referring to letters of the Qatari royal and final settlement of London flats in 2006, Abbasi said that the arrangement between former prime minister Sharif’s father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, and the royals has already been disapproved by the six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
‘Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hassan went to London in early 1990s and resided in the said apartments in 1993 and 1994, respectively,’ disclosed the official.
He went a mile more and said the accused did not disclose ownership of the flats till 2006 as it was made mandatory by law to do so.