Ousted Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, others get interim relief; Islamabad Court suspends prison sentences in Avenfield corruption case

Islamabad: Providing an interim relief to the ousted Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar, the Islamabad High Court suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption case on Wednesday.

Notably, Nawaz Sharif and others have filed the petition against the verdict announced by the Pakistan accountability court on July 6 this year. The Islamabad High Court division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petition and suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption case.

The judges accepted the convicts’ petitions against the Avenfield verdict, ruling that the sentences would remain suspended until the final judgement on their appeals. “For the reasons to be recorded later on, the petitions of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar are allowed,” said Justice Minallah. The court granted bail to Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar and ordered them to pay Rs0.5 million as surety bonds. However, a date will now be fixed for the hearing of the appeals.

After the bail, Nawaz and others were flown to Lahore in a private aircraft. The convoy moved at a slow pace as the route was crowded with supporters and workers of PML-N, who took to the streets to celebrate the release of their leader. Nawaz and others are currently residing to their Jati Umra residence located in the outskirts of Lahore.

The accountability court on July 6 this year had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption case filed by the National Accountability Bureau, handing the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB. His daughter was given 7 years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and 1 year for non-cooperation with the bureau.

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