Trial court’s order against Sharif family in Avenfield reference was ‘not correct’: IHC
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday gave clean chit to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying that, “the accountability court’s order convicting Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Ret Capt Safdar in the Avenfield Apartments reference was ‘not correct’.
Islamabad High Court Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani issued the detailed verdict on the appeals filed against the sentence of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt Safdar.
In its detailed decision, the Islamabad High Court has declared that the prosecution failed to prove its case against both of them and the conviction given to the appellants was unjustified and baseless. IHC declared the verdict of the accountability court “not correct”.
Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir on July 6, 2018, found Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Capt Safdar guilty in the Avenfield Apartments reference, a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) formed to investigate the revelations made in the Panama Papers. The trial court also accused Maryam Nawaz, the owner of the properties, of being the beneficial owner of the offshore companies.
The accountability court had declared that only Nawaz Sharif was a public office holder among the accused at that time, while the other co-accused included his children and son-in-law.
Reviewing the testimony of a key prosecution witness, Robert Redley, the court noted that he had concluded that the Calibri font was not available for commercial use in 2006 and therefore the trust deed was not genuine. Redley admitted to limited availability of the font at the time.
According to the court decision, due to Hussain Nawaz’s family complications, the trust deeds were only a temporary necessity and after the shares were surrendered, the trust disappeared and Maryam Nawaz had no role again in the properties.