ISLAMABAD: Depose premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Mohammad Safdar were released from Adiala prison Wednesday evening after the Islamabad High Court suspended their sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, gave the judgment on petitions filed by Sharifs challenging the Avenfield verdict against them.
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz loyalists bowed down in gratitude before Allah Almighty as soon as Justice Athar Minallah suspended the conviction of Sharifs in the short verdict in packed courtroom no. 3.
The former PM, his daughter and son-in-law remained imprisoned at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail for 68 days.
The august court accepted the appeals filed by the former ruling family and consequently the accused would no more be incarcerated till the court announces the final verdict on the appeals.
IHC suspended sentences of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar in Avenfield reference.
Justice Athar Minallah, while announcing the verdict, directed to release ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar over surety bonds worth Rs0.5 million each until final decision on their pleas.
During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor said that no evidence regarding transfer of 12 million dirham has been found while the agreement of selling 25 percent shares of Gulf Steel Mills was also fake.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have also not verified the transfer of the money, he added.
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.
Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar, who were candidates for the general elections 2018, 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 authorities 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 at the jail primises, 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