Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Nawaz Sharif jailed for 10 years in corruption case

Nawaz Sharif jailed for 10 years in corruption case

Sharif was disqualified from office previous year by the Pakistan Supreme Court, which declared him "dishonest" for not disclosing a separate monthly income from a company owned by his son.

The court verdict enraged Sharif's die-hard supporters.

Sharif had denounced the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witch-hunt, often suggesting the hidden hand of the military was to blame.

In a rebuttal, defence counsel Advocate Amjad Pervez said, "There is a legal requirement that the accused person should be summoned at the time of announcement of judgement and in this case, Mr Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz both are ready to attend proceedings, but because of Kulsoom Nawaz's illness, they have requested that the judgement may be postponed for a few days".

On Friday the court also sentenced Maryam to seven years in prison.

Accountability Court judge Mohammed Bashir also rejected an application from the Sharifs to postpone the announcement of the verdict as Mr. Sharif is now with his wife Kulsoom Nawaz in London who is on ventilator for the past three weeks. The court has ordered confiscation of the properties.

The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's critical health.

The other says Nawaz's departure from the scene, as he begins his long jail sentence, will finally split the party into many factions. "We are hearing reports of Nawaz Sharif returning on Tuesday or Wednesday. that is when we can predict how this will influence voters".

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Sharif has faced - and come back from - similar challenges in the past.

"Pakistani people and PML-N reject this verdict".

The Panama case dominated not just the political spectrum for the last two years, but also rattled the equity market. Imran Khan backs down from lockdown threat. Nawaz Sharif's sentencing is credited to Khan. "Pakistan's future will be better now", PTI's Ali Awan told Arab News.

Journalists and activists have spoken of pressure by the military to censor positive coverage of the PML-N campaign amid allegations of a "silent coup".

The case stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared property owned by the Sharif family in London. However, Sharif's son-in-law Awan also failed to appear to hear the verdict.

Pakistan's deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif was on Friday sentenced in absentia to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by an anti-graft court in one of the three corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal, dealing a huge blow to his party ahead of the elections on July 25.

In October, the accountability court had indicted the disqualified politician, his daughter, and her husband, Awan. The three were subsequently declared absconders.

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