Nawaz Sharif corruption cases: Pakistan court to deliver judgment tomorrow
An anti-corruption court in Pakistan will deliver its judgment tomorrow in two remaining corruption cases against ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik of Islamabad-based accountability court last week reserved the judgment after completion of hearing in the Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia cases against 68-year-old Sharif. If found guilty, Sharif can be sentenced up to 14 years in jail. Here's more.
Sharif indicted for keeping assets beyond known source of income
The verdict will be announced on December 24, which is the revised deadline set by Pakistan's SC to wrap up the remaining two corruption cases against the three-time former prime minister. The accountability court had indicted Sharif for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in Aug'17. The judge also rejected the application by Sharif's lawyer to provide more time for document submission.
The judge rejected Sharif's application but provided little concession
Last week, the judge rejected an application by Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris to provide one week time to submit more documents but allowed him to provide any document by Friday last. The judge also observed that the court was bound to follow December 24 final deadline set by SC. Three cases were launched by the National Accountability Bureau on September 8, 2017, against Sharif.
Here are the cases registered against Sharif
The three cases were Avenfield properties case, Flagship Investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case. These were launched in 2017 following a judgment by the apex court that disqualified the former Prime Minister. The apex court initially set a six-month deadline to conclude the cases but it was subsequently increased around eight times on the request of the accountability court.
Sharif sentenced to 11yrs in jail in Avenfield properties case
Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case in July 2017. In July 2018 Sharif, his daughter Maryam and his son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year respectively in prison in the Avenfield properties case related to their purchase of four luxury flats in London through corrupt practices.
Court declared Sharif's sons absconders, will hear their cases later
However, the three - Sharif, Maryam, and Safdar - were bailed out by the Islamabad High Court in September. Sharif's two sons, Hassan and Hussain, were also co-accused in all three cases but they were declared absconders for failing to appear before the court even for a single time. Over this, the court decided to hear their cases separately once they returned back.
Sharif and family continuously denying allegations
The three-time former prime minister and his family have, however, denied any wrongdoing. Sharif, who religiously followed the proceeding by appearing before the court for at least 78 times, told the media after the court reserved the judgment last week that he has not committed any corruption. "Not a penny of corruption has been proven against me," he said.
Veteran politician Javed Hashmi made predictions regarding tomorrow's hearing
"I think that since I have stepped in politics I have never indulged in corruption nor have misused my power," said Sharif. Veteran politician Javed Hashmi yesterday predicted that Sharif will be convicted in the Flagship and Al-Azizia case as "the institutions won't let these (cases) prove false". "I'll not accept this decision as Nawaz Sharif will be convicted at any cost," he said.