Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Verdict expected in ex-Pakistani prime minister Sharif's corruption trial

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News
Jay Anderson | 07 July, 2018, 01:57

Pakistan's anti-corruption court on Friday convicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in absentia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, in what seemed to be the end of a long and tumultuous political career of the three-time leader.

The trial of Sharif and Nawaz, 44, was an outgrowth of the original corruption case related to the financing of apartments in London and other overseas properties owned by members of the family, one of Pakistan's political dynasties. Maryam's husband and PML-N lawmaker Muhammad Safdar was handed a year in jail, he said. Imran Khan was adamant to pursue the case for which he held rallies and protests.

The court also orders the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to open a criminal trial into ownership of the London flats along with several other Panama Papers revelations.

After the conviction, it was not sure if Sharif and Maryam would come back to face rigorous imprisonment.

Throughout the case, they and their political supporters have cast the allegations as part of a campaign to discredit the former premier - allegedly led by Pakistan's army, which has made little secret of its dislike for Sharif. Sharif and his daughter are in London, where Sharif's wife Begum Kulsoom is undergoing treatment.

Shehbaz the former Chief Minister of the Punjab province, said the decision was against justice and human rights as no proof was given against Sharif by the prosecution team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The Sharif family insisted that the apartments were purchased through legitimate financial resources, but prosecutors said they had been unable or unwilling to produce proof of those claims to the court.




One predicts PML-N riding a sympathy vote back to parliament, especially since Nawaz has sold his disqualification to the electorate as a military-judiciary conspiracy.

During the trial, the NAB presented around 21 witnessed to prove that Sharif family can not justify the money trail to buy four apartments in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London.

The case pertains to a number of properties against the Sharif family in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London.

However, political analyst Qamar Cheema said that those thinking of capitalizing on the verdict should not underestimate thepopularity of the former ruling party among the masses. "Now robbers will not go into assemblies, but to jails", he told a roaring crowd of thousands.

Following the coup he was allowed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia, returning in 2007 before becoming prime minister for a third time in 2013.

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