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Pakistan court orders release of former PM Nawaz Sharif on bail - lawyer

20 September, 2018, 08:18 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

On July 6, accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield properties reference and sentenced them to 11, eight and one year, respectively.

This decision was made during a meeting chaired by NAB Chairperson Javed Iqbal.

A top Pakistani court suspended Wednesday the jail sentences of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in a corruption case, according to media reports.

On this, High Court judge Justice Athar Minallah said, "The NAB, after conducting thorough investigation, couldn't bring any evidence of Nawaz Sharif's ownership of the Avenfield apartments, but you want us to admit his ownership on mere presumption".

"The instant writ petition is allowed and the sentence awarded to the petitioners by the accountability court shall remain suspended till the final adjudication of the appeal filed by the petitioner", reads the division bench's judgment.

When the court asked him if the forged documents had led to her conviction for owning assets beyond means, the prosecutor replied: "Maryam hatched the conspiracy".

The High Court was hearing their appeals in the case on Wednesday. "NAB is different. Kindly appreciate the difference".

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Sharif claims he is being targeted by the country's powerful security establishment. The accountability court verdict had ruined their political career.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Saharif gather and shower rose petals over a auto carrying Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz after their release from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, Pakistan September 19, 2018. Hundreds of party workers gathered outside the Hajj terminal to receive their party leader.

Television footage showed a security vehicle driving the Sharifs through a massive crowd of supporters, some showering rose petals on the vehicle while others waved party flags and chanted slogans.

Special food was also prepared to the liking of Sharif on orders of his mother.

"Soon after the news spread, supporters of the former prime minister and his daughter Mariam Nawaz danced in the streets, distributed candies and chanted slogans", NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Karachi. However, they also summoned the hearing today.

The development is the latest twist in a series of scandals involving the former prime minister, beginning with his ouster from office a year ago to several corruption cases and trials that he faces.

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