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Appeal against sentence in Al-Azizia reference:Arguments of Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer

07 December, 2023 16:14

Islamabad; The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday decided to hear Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against his conviction in the Al Azizia case on merits.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb heard the appeal of the former chief minister. During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked the IHC to refer the appeal back to the Accountability Court. However, the court rejected her NAB appeal and decided to hear the matter on merits. The PML-N’s top commander appeared in court along with his defense team. On December 24, 2018, the Accountability Court sentenced the former prime minister to seven years in prison and a fine of £2.5 million for the Al Azizia steelworks scandal.

Nawaz had appealed the accountability court’s decision and asked the court to set aside the jail term and fine. NAB has taken the position in the appeals court that the sentence handed down by the responsible court was reduced and that a harsher sentence should be imposed. At its last hearing on November 29, the IHC accepted the former prime minister’s appeal and acquitted him in the Avenfield Apartments case. NAB also withdrew its appeal to the Supreme Court against Nawaz’s acquittal in the main case. On July 28, 2017, in response to the Panama Papers revelations, the Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for unpaid salaries and ordered NAB to pay Avenfield, Al-Azizia Steel Works and Flagship Corporation.

Read this also; Avenfield Reference: Nawaz Sharif’s sentence decision annulled

ordered to submit reference materials. While serving time for Al Azizia, Nawaz was diagnosed with an immune system disorder and was later allowed to travel abroad for treatment on the advice of his doctors. In December 2020, Nawaz was declared a “declared criminal” in both cases for “deliberately” failing to return home. The IHC bench headed by Justice Farooq dismissed his appeal against the conviction on June 24, 2021, as he did not appear before the IHC during the appeal proceedings.

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