Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court issued a detailed judgment regarding its order to suspend the conviction of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield corruption reference.

The 41-page verdict has been written by Justice Athar Minallah and was released on Wednesday.

“In hindsight, the sentences awarded to the suspects cannot hold for a long time,” the judgment stated in clear-worded remarks.

An excerpt from IHC order

The verdict stated that the accountability court which awarded the sentences did not state how Maryam assisted Nawaz in the purchase of the Avenfield apartments.

W.P._No._2839_of_2018._Mian_Muhammad_Nawaz_Sharif_vs._NAB,_etc._03_Petitions._636741631742221784

‘The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) mostly relied on Panama Papers case to argue their points against suspension in sentences,’ stated the detailed verdict.

The verdict implied that the suspects were also indicted under NAB ordinance Section 9(a)(iv) but a trial court acquitted them under the same, questioning that the prosecution did not challenge the acquittal.

“Court findings are not final and our opinions or observations will not influence the appeals,” the bench further said in its judgment.

On September 19, a two-judge bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb suspended the sentences handed down to Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar by accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar freed from Adiala jail after IHC suspends Avenfield reference conviction

Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar were sentenced to 10 years, seven years and one year, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield properties reference.

Ordering their release, the two-judge bench directed the former premier, his daughter and son-in-law to submit bail bonds worth Rs0.5 million each.