Pakistan former PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to ten years in prison

Jul 07, 2018, 08:45 IST | Agencies

A Pakistani court has sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison on corruption charges while his daughter Maryam Sharif and her husband got seven and one year terms respectively

Pakistan former PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to ten years in prison
Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar. Pics/AFP

Pakistan's deposed premier Nawaz Sharif was yesterday sentenced in absentia to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by an anti-graft court in one of the three corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal, dealing a huge blow to his party ahead of the elections on July 25. The Islamabad Accountability Court sentenced 68-year-old Sharif to 10 years in jail for owning assets beyond income and one year for not cooperating with the anti-corruption authority, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The sentences will run concurrently which means the former prime minister will serve 10 years in jail.

Sharif's 44-year-old daughter and co-accused Maryam was given seven years for abetment, and one year for non-cooperation with the NAB, also to run concurrently. Considered to be Sharif's political heir, Maryam will serve seven years in total. Sharif's son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar was jailed for one year rigorous imprisonment for not cooperating with the NAB.

Amid tight security, the Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court read out the 174-page verdict after postponing it for five times during the day in the Avenfield corruption case pertaining to the ownership of four flats in the posh Avenfield House in London.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the case, along with two others, on the Supreme Court's directives in the landmark Panamagate verdict last year which disqualified Sharif, the three-time prime minister. Sharif is currently in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. Sharif's daughter Maryam and his two sons - Hassan and Hussain - are in London, while Safdar is in Pakistan, but was not present in court. Both Hassan and Hussain have been declared as absconders by the court.

The NAB will now wait for a certain time period for all three convicts to surrender. If they fail to do so, the NAB will initiate the procedure to bring Maryam and Nawaz back, and arrest Safdar, Dawn newspaper reported. The court also ordered confiscation of the four Avenfield apartments. The fine money will go into the state treasury. After the conviction, it was not sure if Sharif and Maryam would come back to face rigorous imprisonment.

USD 10m
Fine imposed on Nawaz Sharif

1993
Year Sharif family got ownership of Avenfield homes

USD 2.6m
Fine imposed on Maryam Nawaz

174
No. of pages the judgement runs into

The case
> The Avenfield case was among the three corruption cases filed against Nawaz and his children by the NAB on the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case
> During the trial, the NAB presented around 21 witnessed to prove that Sharif family cannot justify the money trail to buy four apartments in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London
> It is alleged that the properties were allegedly bought with graft money in 1990s when he served twice as the prime minister
> Sharif rejected any wrongdoings and insisted they were bought with the legitimate money

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