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IHC to hear Sharifs’ appeals against conviction tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear on Tuesday appeals of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar against their conviction in the Avenfield properties reference. 

The bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Mian Gul Hassan will take up the appeals.

The former premier, his daughter and son-in-law filed the appeals through their legal team pleading with the high court to set aside the accountability court’s verdict against them.

They requested the court to suspend their sentences and order their release from prison on bail until their appeals are decided.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the accountability judge have been named as respondents in the appeals.

The appellants contended that the prosecution failed to prove allegations levelled against them in the reference. Besides, the trial court announced the verdict in their absence while dismissing their plea to defer it for a week, they argued.

On July 6, the three-time prime minister was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an accountability court in the Avenfield case while his daughter and son-in-law to seven years and one year’s jail term, respectively.

Safdar was arrested on July 8 while the former premier and his daughter were arrested on the night of July 13 exactly a week after their conviction in the NAB case.

Sharif along with his daughter landed at Allama Iqbal International Airport from where they were taken to Islamabad on a private plane before being shifted to Adiala jail in a convoy of security vehicles.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested them as they returned from London via Abu Dhabi to face prison. Judicial magistrate Wasim Ahmed executed the warrants issued by Judge Muhammad Bashir for their arrest.

On July 6, the PML-N supreme leader was awarded 10 years in prison, while his daughter Maryam and her spouse Capt Safdar were handed seven years’ and one year’s prison term, respectively.

Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir ordered forfeiture of their properties in the Avenfield Apartments and Park Lane of London. He imposed a fine of £8 million (approximately Rs1,292m) on the former premier and £2 million (approximately Rs323m) on his daughter.

Besides, three convicts were awarded an additional one-year imprisonment, which will run concurrently for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

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