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IHC to take up Nawaz’s writ petition for bail with his previous appeal

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday said the writ petition filed by Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister, requesting bail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, will be heard along with his first appeal challenging the court verdict in the case, ARY News reported.

According to the order that was reserved by the IHC on Monday, the petition of Mr. Sharif will be taken up along with his appeal seeking review of court decision that sent him behind the bars.

Sharif had first filed an appeal with the IHC challenging his conviction in the case. Later he submitted a petition in the court seeking bail as an interim relief. The former PM’s lawyer sought bail of his client with a request to the court to separately hear the bail plea. However, the court in its fresh order ruled that the petition will be heard along with the first appeal Mr. Sharif had filed.

The order is signed by Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah, and Justice Aamer Farooq.

Sharif has requested that his sentence be suspended until the final verdict in his appeal challenging the case is announced. The former deposed PM is currently incarcerated at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore serving his seven-year sentence in the Al Azizia case.

The accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad Malik on Dec 24 sentenced Sharif to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia reference case

Already disqualified for holding public office, Nawaz Sharif was however acquitted of all charges in the Flagship Investment case. The former premier was arrested by a NAB team soon after the verdict was announced.

On Jan 5, the counsel of Sharif re-submitted an appeal at the IHC against the accountability court verdict sentencing Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

The first appeal was filed by the Sharif’s counsel on Jan 1 but the registrar office returned it after raising objections.

Whereas on Jan 3, NAB moved two appeals in the IHC, challenging the accountability court verdict in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references against Sharif.

The anti-graft watchdog pleaded to increase the sentence awarded to Sharif in the Al-Azizia case and overturn his acquittal in the Flagship reference.

“The accountability court passed the impugned judgment in slipshod and a cursory manner without adverting to evidence available on record,” reads the petition. “There is absolute misreading and non-reading of the evidence tendered by the prosecution so much so that the prosecution witnesses stood the test of being sagacious and tendered unimplacable deposition despite lengthy cross examination.”

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