Sharif family to challenge verdict in IHC (Monday) today

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LAHORE : Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar Awan will challenge the accountability court’s verdict in the Avenfield reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday (today).

An accountability court had pronounced the verdict in the corruption reference against the Sharif family on Friday, sentencing Nawaz to 11 years in prison along with a £8 million fine. The former premier’s daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million), while Captain (retd) Safdar received a one-year prison sentence. Khawaja Haris — the legal counsel of Nawaz — has prepared the appeals for his client along with Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar against the July 6 verdict, sources said. The former premier, his daughter, and son-in-law have signed the power of attorney (wakalatnama).

The defence lawyers have informed their clients that the possibility of getting any relief in the sentence would be difficult if they fail to return to Pakistan within ten days, sources further said.

On the other hand, following Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s conviction in Avenfield reference on Friday, authorities at Central Jail Kot Lakhpat Lahore and Adiala Jail Rawalpindi are finalising arrangements for the imprisonment of the former prime minister and his daughter at either of the two prisons. According to jail sources, the two are likely to serve their sentences at either Kot Lakhpat or Adiala jail, where they could be classified as ‘B-class’ prisoners if their living quarter is declared to be a ‘sub-jail’.

According to prison regulations, prisoners can be placed in a ‘sub-jail’ if they face a threat to their lives. Such ‘B-class’ prisoners are allowed to wear regular clothes rather than the standard prison uniforms. They can also arrange for their meals to be brought to them from their homes, and can cook themselves as well.
Pakistan Muslim League-N leader and former first daughter Maryam Nawaz announced that Nawaz Sharif and she will return to Pakistan on Friday despite being sentenced in prison in the Avenfield properties reference.

She made the announcement while talking to media in London on Saturday, a day after the accountability court’s verdict, which imposed a 10-year punishment against her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

“It’s written in the decision that Nawaz Sharif is not involved in corruption,” she said. “My father has been acquitted from money laundering charges.”She said that her father faced accountability in General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s regime but nothing was proven against him.

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