Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

IHC suspends sentences of Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar in Avenfield reference

IHC suspends sentences of Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar in Avenfield reference

A top Pakistani court suspended Wednesday the jail sentences of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in a corruption case, according to media reports.

Along with Nawaz, the court had also pronounced his daughter Maryam and his son-in-law Safdar Awan guilty.

The Islamabad High Court suspended the 10-year sentence for Sharif and the seven-year term handed down to his daughter, Maryam, over corrupt practices linked to his family's ownership of upscale London flats.

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, centre, arrives to attend the funeral prayer of his late wife Kulsoom Nawaz in Lahore on September 14, 2018.

The NAB will file an appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court once it gets a copy of the ruling.

During Tuesday's hearing, Justice Minallah had remarked, "Seemingly, the Accountability Court's verdict was based on the assumption that the Avenfield properties are occupied by the children but owned by Nawaz". "The trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus", the judgement had noted.

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The verdict came on a petition filed by Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and her spouse seeking suspension of the Avenfield verdict until a final decision on their appeals against the sentence. He further added that even if National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor failed to conclude arguments a verdict will be announced.

File image of Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif has repeatedly called the cases against him politically motivated, suggesting collusion between the powerful military and courts to destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party and throw him out of power.

Safdar was arrested by the NAB authorities in Rawalpindi on July 9 while Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were taken into custody by the officials few minutes after their flight landed at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport on Friday night and shifted to Adiala Jail.

Responding to the question, NAB prosecutor said the accused adopted the stance in Supreme Court (SC) that they bought London flats by selling Gulf Steel Mills.

At this, Qureshi said that "since the properties belong to a foreign jurisdiction, therefore, it is a distinguished case and these were not applicable to this case".

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