Pak court jails ex-PM Nawaz for seven years
Islamabad: An anti-corruption court in Pakistan on Monday sentenced ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case but acquitted him in the Flagship Investments case. Three cases — Avenfield properties case, Flagship investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case — were launched against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the high-profile Panama Papers case in July last year.
Sharif, who was present in the court, was immediately taken into custody. His lawyer requested the judge that the PML-N quaid (supreme) be shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore instead of Adiala Jail. The request was granted. The verdict was announced almost immediately after Sharif arrived in the courtroom. He has the option to challenge the verdict against him.
Reacting to the development, Sharif's daughter and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Maryam Nawaz said that an court verdict against her father was "blind revenge's last hiccup". Breaking a months long silence, she took to twitter to criticise the judgment as "vengeance".
"Punishment to the same man for the fourth time. (This was) blind revenge's last hiccup but victory is Nawaz Sharif's, thank God," she said in a series of tweets in Urdu. "After two-and-a-half years of revenge-like accountability, after rummaging through three generations, not a penny's worth of corruption, kickback or commission was found."
Maryam said that "all the verdicts against Sharif were regarding the personal business of his deceased father (Mian Sharif)", adding that "when they could not find anything they announced the verdict on assumptions.
Accountability Court II Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik Monday announced the short verdict in the two corruption cases against the Sharif family, after reserving the decision on December 19.