LHC dismisses petitions against Sharifs’ sentences in Avenfield verdict

August 31, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday dismissed petitions to suspend the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar in Avenfield reference case.

A three-member full bench headed by Justice Shahid Waheed announced the verdict. The LHC remarked that the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) law is valid even after the implementation of 18th amendment.

The Chief Justice had earlier formed a full bench to hear the plea submitted by Lawyers’ Foundation for Justice’s A.K. Dogar in which, it was stated that NAB’s law is no more valid after the implementation of 18th amendment.

Country’s three-time prime minister was sentenced under this ‘dead law’ which is illegal, he added.

The plaintiff further requested to nullify the punishment of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar.

It is to be mentioned here that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar were convicted and sentenced to prison in absentia for ten years, seven years and one year respectively, in Avenfield verdict that is likely to further disrupt an already chaotic campaign for national elections this month.

Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar, who were candidates for the forthcoming general elections were also disqualified from contesting elections for 10 years each.

The sentence and a fine of 8 million pounds, or $10.6 million, came almost a year after Supreme Court removed Sharif from office and less than five months after the court barred him from holding office for life.

Nawaz Sharif was convicted under section 9(a)(5) of the NAB ordinance.

The case stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared property owned by the Sharif family in London.

Safdar was arrested by the NAB authoritites in Rawalpindi on July 9 while Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were taken into custody by the officials few minutes after their flight landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Friday night and shifted to Adiala Jail.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir, who was present in the jail, issued warrants for imprisonment for Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. A team of doctors conducted the medical checkup of both the accused and declared them fit.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were then shifted to B-Class facility in Adiala Jail. INP