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LHC Rejects Pleas Seeking Avenfield Verdict’s Suspension

Lahore (August 31, 2018): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday dismissed petitions seeking suspension of the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar in Avenfield reference case.

A three-judge bench headed by LHC’s Justice Shahid Waheed and comprising Justice Aatir Mehmood and Justice Shahid Jameel Khan heard the appeals seeking the release of the Sharif family members.

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The petitioner had stated that National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, better known as NAB Ordinance, was initiated by former president Pervez Musharraf but lapsed after the 18th Amendment.A three-time prime minister was sentenced in accordance with a law which has lapsed, the petitioner said.

The petition requested the court to declare the Sharif family’s sentences null and void as they were convicted through an ordinance which has lapsed.

After hearing the arguments, the bench initially reserved its judgment. but announced it later.IHC Reserves Verdict On Sharif Family Pleas Against ConvictionEarlier on August 20, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved verdict in a case regarding the Sharif’s family’s appeals challenging their conviction in the Avenfield reference by the accountability court.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb resumed hearing in the appeals of Sharif family today seeking suspension of their conviction in Avenfield reference.

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After the completion of the arguments by both parties, the court reserved the verdict in on the appeals filed by Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar against their sentences.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that an appropriate order will be announced.The court said that “at this stage we are not inclined to decide these petitions and they shall remain pending and fixed along with the appeals. In case there is a delay in deciding on the appeals then the petitioners shall be at liberty to press these petitions.”

On July 6, accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), handing the ousted prime minister 10 years as jail time and seven years to his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

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Background

The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.

On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Related News:

Corruption Ref: AC Directs To Present Part of Volume 10

IHC Reserves Verdict On Sharif Family Pleas Against Conviction