Jailed Nawaz Sharif wants open trial in corruption cases

18 July, 2018, 14:02 | Author: Donnie King
  • Nations are built by raising the standards of vulnerable class

The appeal highlighted the legal flaws in the Avenfield verdict and pleaded to nullify the Islamabad Accountability Court's verdict.

Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on Friday on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty on July 6 over his family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.

His daughter Maryam was also arrested after the pair were were sentenced in absentia on corruption charges last week.

A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team took Sharif and Maryam in its custody from the aircraft, while their passports were confiscated by officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

This week, more than 600 members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Sharif's political party, were arrested.

Pakistan's military remains its most powerful institution, and has faced blistering allegations that it is pressuring the media and politicians in a bid to manipulate the polls against the PML-N.

The former Punjab chief minister, who is now under fire for failing to reach the Lahore airport upon arrival of his elder brother and niece, Maryam Nawaz, has sent a letter to caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk and Punjab CM Hassan Askari.

Nawaz and his sons are accused in all three graft references whereas Maryam Nawaz and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.




Nawaz's son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.

Earlier last week, the accountability court judge had adjourned the hearing of Al-Azizia Steel Mills Reference against Sharif family till July 12, while Khawaja Harris, the counsel of PML-N supremo had raised objection on Muhammad Bashir over hearing of other two references.

The Supreme Court a year ago ordered Sharif to step down from office following a government probe into his family's wealth after publication of the Panama Papers.

"It was not understandable as why the PML-N workers were pressing ahead to get to the airport despite the fact that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were arrested at the airport and flown to Islamabad on a jet", he said. "I went to London to meet her along with my father Nawaz Sharif", she said.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, has repeatedly denied any interference. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Mobile phone service had been cut off in mid-afternoon, as Sharif's brother, Shehbaz, led around 10,000 party supporters on a march towards the city centre in defiance of a citywide ban on public gatherings, according to a Reuters witness. In 2014, after his party's mega victory in general elections, PM invited the head of states of SAARC countries on his swearing-in ceremony, including Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif. Persons placed on the ECL are barred from leaving the country.

Sharif stepped down as prime minister past year.

'Why is Lahore under siege? Khan's Tehrik-e-Insaf party also has high expectations of winning the vote and having him become the next prime minister.

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