Nawaz Sharif jailed for 10 years in corruption case

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2018

A court in Pakistan on Friday sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in jail and his daughter Maryam to seven years in a corruption case, Geo Newsreported. Nawaz Sharif has been fined eight million pounds and Maryam Nawaz two million pounds.

His daughter and co-accused Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over $2.6 million, while Sharif's son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar was jailed for one year. The reference pertains to the ownership of the Sharif family's apartments at Avenfield House, London.

The Avenfield case was among the three corruption cases filed against the former premier and his children by the NAB on the Supreme Court's orders in the Panama Papers case which disqualified Sharif.

Sharif's younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who has taken over the PML-N leadership, rejected the court's decision. According to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court, Sharif family failed to show proper money trail behind purchase of such high-valued apartments.

Sharif, 68, is in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer past year. In July, last year, Sharif was ousted by the Pakistan supreme court in the Panamagate scandal.

Amjad Pervez, counsel of Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam, argued that the law stipulates the presence of the accused when the verdict is read out Nawaz Sharif and his family are facing trial in three corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which are Avenfield properties, Gulf Steel Mills and Al-Azizia Steel Mills. He denies drawing the monthly salary. The PML later split and Nawaz formed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

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Sharif has previously described the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witchhunt.

Earlier while reacting to the verdict, Maryam said it was not a big punishment for "standing up to the invisible forces" in the country for the past 70 years.

Pakistan's military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.

Sharif has a history of conflict with the military even though his political career was initially nurtured by military dictator Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s.

Sharif, who at times during his premiership appeared to seek a better relationship with Pakistan's arch-enemy India, has since repeatedly accused the military of wanton political interference.

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