Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif gets 10-year jail term ahead of polls

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News
Kenny Thornton | 06 July, 2018, 19:28

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the Avenfield properties reference on Friday while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). His daughter Maryam, widely seen as his political heir, was sentenced to a seven-year term, Geo TV and several other TV channels said.

According to media reports, Sharif and Maryam were in their apartment in the Avenfield building in London when the decision was announced.

November 2, 2016 - Pakistan Supreme Court agrees to set up a judicial commission to probe corruption allegations against Sharif, stemming from Panama Papers leaks.

Sharif, who is in London tending to his critically ill wife, is expected to appeal.

Addressing a press conference in London along with his daughter Maryam, Sharif said, "I promise that I will continue this struggle until Pakistanis are not free of the chains that they are kept in for saying the truth".

The judge also ordered the Sharif family's London properties confiscated.

It was the Zia-led JIT's report which the Supreme Court used a year ago as a basis for Nawaz's disqualification and further investigation of the Sharif family's assets.

It was the latest blow to Sharif, just weeks ahead of the country's parliament elections later this month, and also the first verdict against the embattled former premier who has faced a string of trials since he was ousted from office by the Supreme Court a year ago for concealing assets overseas. He denies drawing the monthly salary.

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Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League, rejected the ruling as a grave injustice to the popular former leader.

"Justice has been massacred", Maryam's husband Safdar said after the verdict.

Sharif has a history of conflict with the military even though his political career was initially nurtured by military dictator Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s.

Sharif has argued that the military, in cahoots with top judges, has used cases against him and party members to tip the scales in favour of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan ahead of the election.

Khan is running on a socially conservative, anti-corruption platform.

1990 - Elected prime minister for the first time.

Sharif, who at times during his premiership appeared to seek a better relationship with Pakistan's arch-enemy India, has since repeatedly accused the military of wanton political interference. "Now big plunderers will not come to power, but will go to jail".

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