ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing the Sharif family’s cases is expected to declare the sons of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif – Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz – proclaimed offenders and issue directions for attaching their assets as detailed so far by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
On Tuesday, NAB presented a compliance report pursuant to a “proclamation order” passed by the court on October 9. Three NAB investigation officers – Mehboob Alam, Imran Dogar, and Muhammad Kamran – recorded their statements and gave details of four bank accounts in the name of Hussain.
The report stated that Hussain has €4,272, $3,992, £207.53 and Rs382,381 in the respective accounts, or the equivalent of Rs978,449 in total.
It added that replies from Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) said that both the housing schemes have no record of any properties of the two accused. “We are still waiting for a reply from Bahria and the Lahore deputy commissioner,” the NAB officers said.
In their statements, the investigation officers informed the court that they had visited the brothers’ known residences in Model Town and Jati Umra in Lahore, affixed the proclamation order outside both, and in other prominent places, and publicly read out the court orders as well.
They said that copies of the court order were also sent to their known residences abroad through the foreign ministry and the high commission, adding that a confirmation report has also arrived in this regard.
In addition, they said, the issue was widely reported by print and electronic media. “Accused are knowingly concealing themselves and deliberately avoiding the lawful process of the court,” said Kamran, “hence, absconded.”
He and others prayed the court to declare the accused proclaimed offenders.
At one stage, Judge Muhammad Bashir questioned whether their assets would be attached in all three corruption references. The NAB prosecutors replied in the affirmative. “Will they be attached thrice,” the judge further asked, but he did not get a reply.
Subsequently, the judge remarked that he would hear final arguments on Wednesday and would then decide whether or not Hassan and Hussain should be declared proclaimed offenders.
In the previous hearing, NAB had submitted details of 10 properties – mainly shareholdings – of Hassan and Hussain in different business ventures inside Pakistan. Hussain has shares in all 10 companies while Hassan is a partner in two companies purportedly owned by the Sharif family.
The court order showed that Hussain is a shareholder in Muhammad Bukhsh Textile Mills, Ittefaq Brothers, Brothers Steel Mills, Hudabiya Paper Mills, Hudabiya Engineering, Ittefaq Textile Mills, Hamza Spinning Mills, Brothers Textile Mills, Ramzan Bukhsh Textile Mills, and Khalid Siraj Industries.
As per the order, Hassan only has shares in Muhammad Bukhsh Textile Mills and Hamza Spinning Mills.
Earlier, Judge Bashir had issued non-bailable warrant of arrest for both the brothers for failing to appear before the court. The court had also issued directions for separating the trial of Hassan and Hussain from the other accused persons after they failed to appear before the court.
While separating the trial of Hassan and Hussain and declaring them absconders, the court had ordered the initiation of proceedings under section 87 (absconding) of the Criminal Procedure Code against them.
In the proclamation order, Judge Bashir had noted that the suspects allegedly committed offences under section 9 (a) and (xii) of NAB ordinance, which are punishable under section 10 of the ordinance.
The court order had noted that the suspects have “absconded” or “concealed” themselves to avoid the execution of arrest warrant, adding that they were required to appear before the court to answer the references filed against them within 30 days starting from October 11.
Otherwise, the order read, they will be declared proclaimed offenders. It added that the “property belonging to the accused is also going to be attached under section 88 CrPC at any stage after this proclamation.”