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Avenfield Corruption Case: Nawaz Sharif & Family Released As Islamabad HC Suspends Sentence

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| September 20 , 2018 , 10:53 IST

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Mariyam and son in law Capt. (Retd) Muhammad Safdar were brought to their home turf, Lahore, in a special plane after their release from prison in Islamabad Wednesday evening. 

Islamabad High Court of Pakistan suspended the sentences of former Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son in law Muhammad Safdar in absence of sufficient evidence.

According to Pakistani channel Geo News, Sharif's younger brother and President of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif and other party leaders met the Nawaz at the high-security Adiala Prison before he was released.

According to local media reports, A two-judge bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb gave the judgment on petitions challenging the July verdict against them in the Avenfield case.

Why Was The Sentence Suspended?

All the three accused in the case. had the jail sentences imposed by the lower court on 6 July suspended by Islamabad's high court, as part of an appeals hearing.

"The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif. It also failed to prove how was Maryam Nawaz sentenced under the same charge sheet which convicted Nawaz Sharif," Justice Athar Minallah told the court.

Their convictions remain under appeal within the top court, but a date for a hearing has yet to be fixed. The anti-graft body that launched the case, the National Accountability Bureau, can still appeal to the Supreme Court against the latest ruling.

The Sharifs are expected to be released out on bail soon.

What is the case All About?

NAB had registered three references against members of the Sharif family; Avenfield properties, Al-Azizia and Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investment.

The Pakistan Supreme Court, on July 28, had disqualified Sharif from holding the office of the prime minister and asked the National Accountability Bureau to file references against the Sharif family in connection with corruption cases against them in connection to the cases which came in light through the Panama Papers.