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IHC defers verdict against appeals of Sharif family in Avenfield reference case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday deferred announcing the verdict on the suspension of the convictions against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law captain retired Safdar in the Avenfied reference case

Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Aurangzaeb were hearing the case against the suspension of the convictions against the Sharif family.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) deputy prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar submitted the concluding arguments as instructed by the court after which the verdict was reserved.

He argued that the London properties were in the name of Neilson and Nescoll which were proved to be owned by Nawaz Sharif. He also gave reference of a televised interview which Justice Minallah asked him to explain in the appeal.

Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris argued that the price of the London flats was also mentioned in the verdict, but the prosecutor maintained they has established the ownership of the properties.

The court said that “at this stage we are not inclined to decide these petitions and they shall remain pending and fixed along with the appeals. In case there is a delay in deciding of the appeals then the petitioners shall be at liberty to press these petitions.”

The verdict was ultimately deferred.

On July 6, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of eleven years in prison and imposed a £8 million fine in the corruption reference.  His daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine while Safdar was given a one-year sentence.

Khawaja Harif filed an appeal on July 16 challenging the verdict against the Sharif family and requested its suspension till IHC’s adjudication in the case. A similar appeal was filed by lawyer Amjad Pervaiz on behalf of Maryam and Safdar.

The appeals highlighted legal flaws in the Avenfield reference case and asked for the the accountability court’s verdict to be declared null and void and the three convicts to be released on bail.

It may be mentioned that the federal cabinet in a meeting presided by prime minister Imran Khan has decided to place the name of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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