IHC suspends convictions of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield Properties reference

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday suspended the convictions of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Son-in-Law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar awarded by an Islamabad’s Accountability Court in Avenfield Properties reference in July 2018.

The verdict was announced by a two-member IHC bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb in response to petitions filed by the Sharif family members against their sentences.

The IHC ordered to submit surety bonds of Rs 500,000 for each accused, and issued orders to release Sharif family members for Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, the Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has announced that they will challenge the high Islamabad High Court’s verdict regarding release of Sharif family members in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The IHC bench had reserved its judgement earlier in the day after the NAB Prosecutor Mohammad Akram Qureshi and Nawaz Sharif’s Counsel Khawaja Haris completed their arguments before the Court.

Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to a 10-year imprisonment on June 6 this year by the Accountability Court in Avenfield Reference, pertaining to Sharif family’s four flats at Park Lane in London, filed by NAB on the directives of the Supreme Court.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz also received a seven-year imprisonment and Captain (retd) Safdar a one-year imprisonment. Subsequently, they were imprisoned at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Later the convicted Sharif family members approached the IHC against the Accountability Court’s judgement, pleasing the High Court to declare the sentences null and void.

In the meantime, the NAB filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a ruling to bar the IHC from hearing Sharif family’s petition against the Accountability Court’s judgement.

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However last Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the NAB’s petition against the IHC’s decision to hear Sharif family’s petitions against the Avenfield verdict, terming it “frivolous” and imposing a fine of Rs 20,000 fine on the bureau.

Recently the detained members of Sharif family were released on parole for five days to take part in last rites of Nawaz Sharif’s deceased wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz at Jati Umra in Lahore.