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Khawaja Haris resumes concluding remarks in Avenfield reference against Sharifs.

ISLAMABAD:Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris on Thursday resumed his concluding remarks in the Avenflied reference against Sharif family. The Avenfield reference, pertaining Sharif family's London properties, is among three corruption reference against Sharif family by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year under the orders of Supreme Court.

As the hearing resumes in the court of Judge Muhammad Bashir, Khawaja Haris informed the court that Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for Panama investigation was formed as an investigative body. Haris also referred to the Supreme Court's April 20, 2017, in which order for formation of JIT was given.

On Wednesday, Haris argued that NAB has failed to shift the onus of proof on the Sharif family in the Avenfield reference. Harris stated the prosecution team has failed to make a strong case against Sharif.

Harris, while corroborating his argument with several judgments from Indian and Pakistani courts, stated that the NAB has not followed the required criteria in the case against Nawaz Sharif. Even though there were scores of judgments of the Supreme Court (SC) that had set certain preconditions for shifting of the onus of proof on the accused, the NAB failed to follow the procedure in the ongoing case, he said.

Bringing up Section 14 (C) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), Sharifs counsel stated that though the law stated that the accused needs to prove their innocence, it can only be done once the prosecution establishes a strong case. The counsel argued that the superior court had laid down four prerequisites for shifting the burden of proof on the defendant in cases related to Khalid Aziz versus NAB and Hakim Ali Zardari versus NAB.

He went on to argue that as per SCs order it was mandatory for the prosecution to prove that the accused was holding public office when the alleged property was purchased.

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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 21, 2018
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