Pakistani Court Orders Former Prime Minister Sharif Freed on Bail

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday chose to challenge Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict of suspending sentences of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar in Avenfield reference, in the Supreme Court.

Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her spouse Safdar, were convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield reference case on July 6. Ordering their release, the bench directed Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law to submit bail bonds worth Rs 500,000 each.

Sharif received 10 years for corruption, Maryam was given seven years for abetting a crime and a year for not co-operating and son-in-law Safdar Awan was given a one-year sentence also for not co-operating.

The Islamabad High Court made the decision after the Sharifs petitioned to appeal their sentences, handed down by an anti-graft tribunal earlier this year in a corruption case against them.

According to GeoNews, Justice Athar Minallah, who was part of a two-judge bench (also featuring Justice Miangul Hassan) hearing the petition by the Sharifs, pointed out lack of evidence to prove that Nawaz owned the flats.

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28 July, 2017: Supreme Court declares Sharif disqualified from office for not declaring income from a company in United Arab Emirates, which was not in original Panama Papers revelations.

The cases against the family stemmed from Panama Papers case in April 2016.

The court also dismissed the National Accountability Bureau's request to first announce a judgment on the maintainability of the pleas.

The sentence and a fine of 8 million pounds, or $10.6 million, came nearly a year after Supreme Court removed Sharif from office and less than five months after the court barred him from holding office for life.

The IHC accepted the appeals by them against the verdict announced by the accountability which convicted them on July 06 in the corruption case. All three leaders later moved to Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. It ruled that the prisoners' sentences would be suspended and they would be allowed to go free.

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