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IHC to hear Sharif’s appeal against jail term on Jan 21

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday fixed a petition of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif for hearing of his appeal challenging conviction as well as request for bail in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, ARY News reported.

The registrar office of the IHC said January 21 has been fixed as date for hearing of the appeal. The two member divisional bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani and Justice Amir Farooq will hear the case.

On Jan 8, The IHC had said the writ petition filed by Nawaz Sharif requesting bail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, will be heard along with his first appeal challenging the court verdict in the case, however date of the hearing was not specified.

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.

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.

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