Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in jail in corruption case

06 July, 2018, 18:29 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Nawaz Maryam entering the court premises earlier this year

Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court in Islamabad Friday, lawyers said, dealing a serious blow to his party's troubled campaign ahead of July 25 elections.

While Sharif was fined 8 million pounds (USD 10 million), his daughter Maryam was handed down a 2 million pound (USD 2.6 million) fine.

Nawaz's son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar was given a one year sentence.

"This decision is based on injustice".

The National Accountability Bureau had filed three case related to the purchase of four flats in London's Avenfield House against Sharif and his children.

The court says he and his family had failed to disclose the source of funds used to purchases luxurious London properties and had not reported them to tax authorities.

JI chief Sirajul Haq said the elections should not be delayed because of the accountability court's judgment in the Avenfield case. Sharif and his daughter are in London, where Sharif's wife Begum Kulsoom is undergoing treatment.

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"He (Nawaz) chose this path despite being aware that it was not easy and a price for it had to be paid", she said, adding that the PML-N supremo paid a "heavy price" for his decision. He denies drawing the monthly salary.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which spearheaded a campaign against Nawaz Sharif following the Panama leaks, praised the verdict.

But he has kept de facto control of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party that he founded.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half of its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.

He fell out with powerful generals once he ascended to power a decade later, and the relationship between them was fraught after Sharif returned as premier in 2013, partly because Sharif challenged the military over control of foreign policy, which the generals have traditionally seen as their domain.

Khan was a driving force behind Sharif's downfall, seizing on the 2016 Panama Papers' revelations that the then-prime minister's family had bought the London apartments using offshore companies.

"A political bigwig has been sentenced to imprisonment for the first time in Pakistan's history", he remarked while talking to media.

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