'Nawaz Sharif can be congratulated': Aitzaz Ahsan on IHC judgement

Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was released from prison late Wednesday to be met by jubilant supporters after a court suspended his prison sentence for corruption pending an appeal hearing.

Justice Minallah read the judgment and suspended the sentences handed to the three by the anti-corruption court on July 6.

However, The legal expert Saad Rassol has a say that the relief restricts to the suspension of the sentences only; it is not an acquittal.

Opposing the suspension of the jail term of Sharifs, NAB special prosecutor Mohammad Akram Qureshi argued that "after the fixation of appeals against the conviction of the Sharif family in the Avenfield reference, the IHC could not have entertained petitions seeking suspension of sentence", the Dawn reported.

Mr. Sharif, Ms. Maryam and Mr. Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year respectively in prison in the Avenfield properties case.

The Bench ordered their release and directed them to submit bail bonds worth Rs.0.5 million each.

Hundreds of his supporters had gathered outside Adiala prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to await their release.

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The duo were recently released on a bail to attend the final rites of his wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who passed away in London on September 12.

The High Court was hearing the petitions filed by Sharifs and Safdar against the July 6 verdict by the accountability court.

Nawaz Sharif and his family have challenged in the Accountability Court order which convicted them on July 06 in the corruption case.

He said that the trial court's decision stated itself that no corruption was proven against Nawaz Sharif and time will prove his innocence. The judgment came when Khan was in Saudi Arabia on a state visit, apparently seeking financial help to avoid International Monetary Fund bailout.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and other party leaders, including Khawaja Asif, Mushahiddullah Khan, Raja Zafarul Haq, Ahsan Iqbal, Abid Sher Ali, Maryam Aurangzeb, Chaudhry Tanveer and others were present in IHC when the verdict was announced. However, the apex court had penalised NAB for filing a "frivolous" petition and fined the anti-graft watchdog Rs20,000.

"After it came to light that the Sharif family had purchased several lavish apartments in London through offshore companies, Pakistan's Supreme Court found that the disgraced prime minister had failed to properly disclose his financial assets - several of which were "disproportionate to his means of income" - and disqualified him from office".

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