Hill Metal profits sent to Sharif: NAB prosecutor

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik held the hearing of Al-Azizia and Flagship references.
The former PM Nawaz Sharif could not show up because of a prayer ceremony for his late wife. The court granted him exemption from attending the court.
NAB recorded the statement of completion of evidence in the Flagship reference while NAB prosecutor started final arguments in the Al-Azizia reference. Prosecutor Wasiq Malik said it was a white collar crime and the case should be seen under the special law. “The reference was started with Panama papers. It is not a normal case,” he said. “It is a crime perpetrated in a very organized way. The accused have accepted all the assets of the case. There is no dispute on it,” he added.
“The benamidar are hiding the actual country in this case. The co-accused hold themselves owners but have not provided the money trail. The investigations of SC, JIT, and NAB provided the accused opportunity to explain. The state is a mother and can ask its citizens where the assets came from,” he continued.
He contended that this case is about the rights given by the people to the state. Al-Azizia was valued at 6 million dollars in 2001. The value of Hill Metal was 5 million pounds in 2005. The amount of profit from Hill Metal from 2010 to 2017 was more than one billion which was sent to Nawaz Sharif.
He claimed that the stance of the accused in the case changed on every occasion. Every time an effort was made to give a new direction to the case. It is not a case of direct ownership.
He said the investigation of the reference started on August 2, 2017. Hasan and Hussain Nawaz were declared proclaimed offenders on November 15, 2017. Witness Afaq Ahmed had conveyed the first letter of the Qatari prince to JIT.
Nab prosecutor said witness Ali Raza presented the record of Muhammad Anis to whom amounts were shifted from Hill Metal establishment. Irfan Mehmood Malik provided the details of Hanif Khan’s account who was a manager of Ramzan sugar mills. Azhar Ikram presented the record of the account of the Anjum Iqbal Ahmed, the accountant of the Hill Metal Establishment. Witness Shahid Mehmood presented the transcript and DVD of Nawaz Sharif’s addresses to the National Assembly and the nation. At the time of his address to the NA, the issue was only of Avenfield flats.
The interview of Hussain Nawaz was about assets. Hussain Nawaz told that Avenfild flats were purchased with the amount received from the sale of Al-Azizia. Hussain Nawaz said his father had no connection with the business after the division of the assets in 2005. Hussain’s statement shows that Nawaz Sharif was associated with the business before 2005. Hussain said from sharia’s point of view everything he owns is his father’s. Now sharia and law are not different things. The status of non-residential citizen does not give Hussain any exception. Hussain did not hold the stance in any of the applications that he was running the business of his grandfather.
He said he has been running his business for 16 years. When the issue of the money trail came, Hussain said he was assisting his grandfather.
The Judge asked him to tell Nawaz Sharif’s connection to Al-Azizia also. He said Hussain and Hasan were under the guardianship of Nawaz Sharif. The testimonies of the three accused are common. The accused presented the 1974 documents of Gulf Steel. The accused did not present any document of the Al-Azizia set up in 2001. Hussain Nawaz provided the agreement of the sale of Al-Azizia only. “Our stance is that the accused hid the documents of the establishment of Al-Azizia deliberately,” he said.
The court asked if there is any agreement of 12m dirham investment with the Qatari family. The prosecutor said the accused did not provide any record of investment with Qatari family.