Pakistan court to take up Nawaz Sharif family's appeals challenging corruption verdict tomorrow 

Hours after the three filed separate appeals through their counsels, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi constituted a two-member bench to hear the appeals.

Published: 16th July 2018 09:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2018 09:20 PM   |  A+A-

Nawaz Sharif and wife Kulsoom Begum (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law today filed separate appeals challenging the verdict in a corruption case and the Islamabad High Court issued an urgent cause list to hear them tomorrow.

Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty over his family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.

They were later taken to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Sharif's son-in-law, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, who was arrested on July 8, is also lodged in the same Adiala Jail.

Seven separate appeals were filed in the Islamabad High Court by the three convicts' lawyers - three on behalf of Sharif, and two each on behalf of Maryam and Safdar - on the corruption cases against them.

Hours after the three filed separate appeals through their counsels, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi constituted a two-member bench to hear the appeals.

The bench include Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, who are the junior most judges out of five IHC judges.

The court also listed on its website the hearing of appeals as urgent and set tomorrow the date for hearing.

Legally the chief justice is empowered to set up a bench but important cases are often assigned to senior judges.

Today was the last day of filing appeals as under law the convicts can file appeals within 10 days of conviction by an accountability court.

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

Moreover, it (the appeal) further sought the release of three convicts on bail.

The copy of Sharif's appeal, seen by the PTI, shows that he argued that the prosecution had not given any evidence or presented any witness during the trial to prove that Avenfield properties were owned by him.

A appeal was also filed against conducting the proceedings of the remaining two corruption cases within the Adiala jail premises.

A separate appeal was filed to request the transfer of the case to another accountability court as the defence counsel argued that Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court had already made public his opinion on multiple aspects of the case.

The same appeal had been filed earlier and were instructed by the court to pursue the matter in the relevant high court.

The Islamabad Accountability Court had sentenced Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and imposed a fine of 8 million pounds (USD 10 million) in the corruption case.

His daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison along with a 2 million pounds (USD 2.6 million) fine.

In addition, Sharif's son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.

They were also disqualified to contest election or to hold public office for a period of 10 years.

Maryam's legal counsel Amjad Pervaiz stated that the accountability court's verdict in the Avenfield case was not in compliance with the law.

"The accountability court's verdict is in contradiction with the law and declaring it void would serve justice," Pervaiz said.

"Our case is very strong and on merit. We are right and we hope to get some relief," he said.

Maryam's appeal was drafted on Saturday, however, her legal counsels who were in Adiala Jail to get the power of attorney signed by their client were unable to file the petition before the court hours ended.

On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield case.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three corruption cases whereas Maryam and Safdar are accused in the Avenfield case only.

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