Islamabad court orders release of Maryam and Nawaz Sharif

Hannah Rogers
September 19, 2018

The former PM, his daughter and son-in-law will then fly to Lahore. So after paying the surety, they will be released from the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, he said. Jubilant workers chanted slogans and showering the ex-premier's vehicle with rose petals. It ruled that the prisoners' sentences would be suspended and they would be allowed to go free.

Justice Minallah read the judgment and suspended the sentences handed to the three by accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir on July 6.

It is pertinent here to mention that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar were convicted and sentenced to prison in absentia for ten years, seven years and one year respectively, in Avenfield verdict. Both Maryam and Safdar are politicians.

On September 15, the anti-graft body had approached the Supreme Court in an effort to keep the Islamabad High Court from ruling on an application from the Sharif family seeking the suspension of the Avenfield verdict. They returned to jail on Monday.

A supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif holds his picture and makes a victory sign after a court ruling, outside the Islamabad High Court.

The two-judge bench also ordered the accused to submit bail bonds worth Rs. 500,000 each.

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"The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif", Justice Athar Minallah told the court.

"The conviction stands and they remain criminals". The charges stemmed from the so-called leaked papers from a Panama law firm.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar termed the NAB petition as frivolous and imposed a Rs 20,000 fine on the anti-corruption watchdog.

"After it came to light that the Sharif family had purchased several lavish apartments in London through offshore companies, Pakistan's Supreme Court found that the disgraced prime minister had failed to properly disclose his financial assets - several of which were "disproportionate to his means of income" - and disqualified him from office".

He repeatedly called the cases against him politically motivated, suggesting collusion between the powerful military and the courts to destabilise his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party and throw him out of power.

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