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Pakistan

Web Desk
July 21, 2018
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PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi jailed for life in ephedrine case

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sat, Jul, 18

ISLAMABAD: An anti-narcotic court on Saturday sentenced PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi to life in prison in an ephedrine quota case.

Hanif Abbasi was accused of misappropriating 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine, obtaining it in 2010, and selling it to narcotics smugglers. 

Mr Abbasi, who was running against AML leader Sheikh Rashid in NA-60, was arrested from the courtroom shortly after the verdict was announced, Geo reported. 

Judge Sardar Akram Khan discharged seven accused, including Ali Musa Gilani, son of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, over lack of evidence.

Former federal minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin was also acquitted by the court. 

ANF personnel arrested Abbasi and took him to Adiala jail.  Rangers were also assisting the ANF to maintain law and order. 

The court had reserved judgment in ephedrine case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi.

The decision was reserved after his lawyer completed arguments in the court where the accused was also present ..

The judge said he would pronounce the judgement within the next three to four hours.

The judge on Friday rejected PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s request to extend the trial deadline in the case.

The judge decided to strictly follow the orders of the apex court and high court to conclude the ephedrine case today (Saturday). Former MNA Hanif Abbasi and 10 others were accused in the ephedrine quota case.

Speaking to Geo TV, senior journalist Hamid Mir said that it was a political decision. "This will only benefit Nawaz Sharifs' narrative," Mir said, saying that Hanif Abbasi may get relief in an appeal in the Supreme Court. 

"Hanif Abbasi will not be able to contest the elections despite the fact that he was a strong candidate," he said. 

The verdict will raise questions on the credibility of elections 2018, Mir added. 

Speaking to Geo, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that justice doesn't appear to be done. "The facts about this case will be revealed soon," he said. 

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