Following Avenfield verdict, Nawaz announces to ‘return to country immediately’
06 July, 2018, 18:28 | Author: Gregory Stephens
In a major blow to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), the Accountability Court on Sunday convicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years of imprisonment and slapped a fine worth €8 million, while daughter Maryam Nawaz was handed seven years of jail term in the Avenfield reference corruption case. Nawaz's son-in-law Captain Safdar was sentenced to one year imprisonment in the case.
"This decision is based on injustice".
Sharif was ousted from his third term as prime minister by the Supreme Court a year ago following a corruption investigation.
The Sharif family, however, failed to declare the financial resources with which they claimed to have purchased the flats.
The verdict in the Avenfield reference case was read out by accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir after postponing the announcement four times in a day.
Sharif, who is in London, was sentenced in absentia.
Hours before the verdict, Maryam's husband Safdar referred to it as a "funeral" for justice, the PML-N media office said in a statement.
Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the Avenfield properties case while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years.
Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and barred from politics for being "dishonest" by failing to report a monthly income of $2,723 (10,000 Emirati dirham) from a company owned by his son.
To a question about return of Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif said she is more desperate to return to Pakistan.
The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half of its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.
Khan told an election rally in the country's northwest that Sharif might have escaped punishment if he had not waged a legal battle against him years ago.
Prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbas also said that the court had ordered the properties, in London s exclusive Mayfair, be confiscated by the federal government.
This is the first time in the country's history that a powerful person has been punished, he said, adding that today everyone should thank God.
Journalists and activists have spoken of pressure by the military to censor positive coverage of the PML-N campaign amid allegations of a "silent coup".
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