Nawaz Sharif gets seven year jail in graft case

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHAFQAT ALI
Published Dec 25, 2018, 6:52 am IST
Updated Dec 25, 2018, 6:53 am IST
Ex-PM acquitted in Flagship Investments case; court declares his sons absconders.
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
 Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Monday sentenced to seven years in prison in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference but acquitted in Flagship reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

While reading out the short order, Accountability Judge Arshad Malik said that there was no case against Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship reference. He was indicted under Section 9(a)(v) and Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance in the Al-Azizia reference.

 

Section 9(a)(v) says: “A holder of a public office, or any other person, is said to commit or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices if he or any of his dependents or benamidar (nameless owner) owns, possesses, or has acquired right or title in any assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of any assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably account for, or maintains a standard of living beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income.”

In the verdict, the court has imposed Rs 3.47 billion ($ 25 million) fine on the former prime minister for failing to provide money trail. The court also ordered to seize Al-Azizia and Hill Metal property.

Mr Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain have been declared absconders and permanent arrest warrants issued against them.

Mr Nawaz Sharif was arrested by the anti-corruption watchdog from the courtroom while the security was tightened at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

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Mr Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Haris requested that his client be shifted to Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail instead of Adiala Jail. After few minutes, the court granted permission to move Sharif to Lahore central prison. He will stay at Adiyala Jail tonight and later moved to Lahore on Tuesday morning.

Mr Sharif also has the option to challenge the verdict against him. The verdict will be challenged in Islamabad High Court, according to initial details.

The country’s anti-corruption body NAB had filed three cases - Avenfield, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Limited - against the Sharifs on the Supreme Court’s directives in the July 2017 Panamagate verdict. The trial commenced in September that year.

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