Verdict expected in ex-Pakistani prime minister Sharif's corruption trial

Aaron Brown
July 7, 2018

Meanwhile, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted and sentenced to prison in absentia by the accountability court, in a verdict that is likely to further disrupt an already chaotic campaign for national elections this month.

April 4, 2016 - The leaked Panama Papers show involvement of Nawaz Sharif's family in offshore companies including two used to buy luxury homes in London.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the case, along with two others, on the Supreme Court's directives in the landmark Panamagate verdict past year which disqualified Sharif, the three-time prime minister.

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif react outside a court following a ruling against him, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, July 6, 2018.

During the trial, the NAB presented around 21 witnessed to prove that Sharif family can not justify the money trail to buy four apartments in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London.

"I will stand with the masses and stop those who are creating impediments in the way of the votes", he said, adding he had been punished because he tried to turn the course of Pakistan's 70-year history.

NAB officials told the local media Maryam's husband Muhammad Safdar, who is in Pakistan, will be arrested on Monday after his warrant is obtained.

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His daughter Maryam Nawaz, found guilty of abetment in obtaining high-end properties in London, has been given a seven-year sentence, in addition to disqualification from holding public office for ten years.

Sharif has previously described the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witchhunt.

Nawaz Sharif, speaking to reporters in London late Friday, said he planned to return to Pakistan and was willing to go to prison in his effort to free Pakistanis "of the slavery imposed on them by some generals and judges".

"Voters will make their decision on July 27". The PML later split and Nawaz formed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

But the military ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup. The convictions are a huge setback to the ruling PML-N, which has accused the country's powerful military establishment of conspiring against the party by forcing its candidates to switch sides and join the Opposition or contest elections as independents.

"We are still deliberating the appeal option but I feel we should take it", said Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, former federal minister and PML-N spokesperson.

Islamabad-based accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir pronounced the verdict behind closed doors.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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