‘Nawaz Sharif being held in deplorable conditions’

Pauline Gross
July 21, 2018

Earlier, Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of Nawaz Sharif and ex-chief minister Punjab province, has written a letter to the caretaker chief minister to complain about "abysmal conditions" under which the ex-premier was languishing in a high-security Adiala jail. Sharif's son-in-law, Captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar, who was arrested on 8 July, is also lodged in the same Adiala Jail.

A two-judge division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kyani was expected to hear the appeals of the trio at around 11:00 am (local time), ARY News reported.

Lawyers of the convicts highlighted legal lacunae in the accountability court verdict during the hearing and urged the court to suspend the imprisonment sentences of their clients until a final decision of the Islamabad High Court. They also issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and also ordered to present the record of the case.

Mr. Sharif is being held amid increasing political tensions ahead of Pakistan's July 25 parliamentary vote. All three are now in jail and have appealed against the decision in the Avenfield case.

How will you rehear the same arguments that you have rejected already, former PM Nawaz Sharif's lawyer, Khawaja Haris, asked accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir.

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The court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and imposed a fine of 8 million pounds (USD 10 million) in the Avenfield corruption case. His daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison along with a £2 million ($2.6 million) fine. Maryam's legal counsel Amjad Pervaiz stated that the accountability court's verdict in the Avenfield case was not in compliance with the law.

He said the accountability court verdict is also based on presumptions that Nawaz Sharif's children were dependent on him and had no monetary resources to buy the London flats. "Our case is very strong and on merit".

"We expect justice from the court", he said. Furthermore, the court was appealed to release Sharif, Maryam and Safdar on bail respectively.

On 6 July, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield case. In the two other cases, Al Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establishment in Jeddah and offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Limited and 15 other companies, Nawaz and his sons, Hasan and Hussain, are the accused.

Other reports by GizPress

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