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Nawaz Sharif’s Sons Acquitted in Corruption References

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An Islamabad accountability court acquitted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, in three corruption references linked to the Panama Papers. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed these references, including Avenfield Apartment, Al-Azizia, and Flagship Investment cases, in which the sons were declared proclaimed offenders in 2018 for failing to participate in the investigation.

Recently, Hussain and Hassan decided to surrender before the court through their counsel Qazi Misbahul Hassan, leading to the suspension of their warrants until March 14. Ending their self-imposed exile in London, they returned to Pakistan on March 12 and were granted bail against surety bonds of Rs50,000 each after the court reopened the references against them.

During the hearing, Accountability Judge Nasir Javed Rana accepted the acquittal pleas after NAB did not oppose them. The NAB prosecutor highlighted that the cases did not fall under recent amendments to NAB laws and pointed out that key figures like Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had already been acquitted in similar cases.

Misbah argued that since the main accused had been acquitted and no new evidence was presented against Hussain and Hassan, continuing the case would be unjust. He emphasized that the NAB had not challenged previous acquittals and withdrew its appeal against Nawaz’s acquittal in the Flagship Investment reference.The court reserved its verdict on the pleas seeking acquittal in all three references, marking a significant development in this legal saga involving the Sharif family.

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