Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pakistan court suspends prison sentences of Nawaz Sharif and family

Pakistan court suspends prison sentences of Nawaz Sharif and family

The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday suspended the Avenfield verdict, ruling in favor of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar.

The IHC's division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb allowed the petitions of the Sharif family members against the accountability court's July 6 judgment in the Avenfield Apartments reference.

Amjad Pervez, a defence lawyer, had said the required bonds had been posted and Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law would be released from Adiala prison, where they have been serving 10-year, seven-year and one-year prison sentences, respectively.

Hamza further said that it had been proven that the accountability court's verdict against former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law was "weak". The court has also ordered them to pay Rs (Pakistani) 0.5 million as surety bonds.

Sharif was temporarily released earlier this month to attend the funeral of his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who died at a London hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Quoting sources, Geo News reported that if the former premier, his daughter and son-in-law are released, they will be taken to Lahore via a special flight.

When the court asked him if the forged documents had led to her conviction for owning assets beyond means, the prosecutor replied: "Maryam hatched the conspiracy".

In a blow to Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog, the Islamabad High Court also dismissed the National Accountability Bureau's request to first announce a judgment on the maintainability of the pleas.

He said that the trial court's decision stated itself that no corruption was proven against Nawaz Sharif and time will prove his innocence.

On September 15, the anti-graft body had approached the Supreme Court in an effort to keep the Islamabad High Court from ruling on an application from the Sharif family seeking the suspension of the Avenfield verdict. They both deny wrongdoing.

Shahbaz Sharif, who headed the PML-N after his brother's imprisonment, tweeted a verse from the Koran in Arabic that said: "Truth has come and falsehood has departed".

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