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Monday January 24, 2022

Maryam Nawaz gets extension to hire new lawyer for plea challenging Avenfield Reference verdict

IHC remarks Maryam has the right to hire a lawyer and file a petition according to her will

By Web Desk
September 08, 2021
I want to bring some facts to the fore by filing another plea, says Maryam Nawaz. Photo Geo News/Screengrab via The News
I want to bring some facts to the fore by filing another plea, says Maryam Nawaz. Photo Geo News/Screengrab via The News

ISLAMABAD:  PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz has acquired an extension from the Islamabad High Court to hire a new lawyer  by  September 23 for her plea challenging the sentence awarded to her in the Avenfield Reference.

A two-member IHC bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani, conducted a hearing on the pleas filed by Maryam and her husband Captain Safdar.

At the outset of the hearing,  Maryam informed the court that her lawyer, Advocate Amjad Parvez, had excused himself from further representing her case due to being unwell.

Maintaining that she wants to bring some facts to the fore by filing another plea, Maryam requested the  court to grant her an extension to hire a new lawyer to counsel on her behalf.

"I don’t want to give an impression that the case is being delayed," she said.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked that Maryam has the right to hire a lawyer according to her will and file a petition, therefore, the court would not object to this.

However, at Maryam’s request for a month-long extension, the court remarked that the arguments on the case are going on, so a long extension cannot be granted.

The court adjourned the hearing till September 23 while directing Maryam to hire a new lawyer within this period.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Maryam said that her new petition will expose "all the facts and reveal that why the case was built against them and who was behind it."

Furthermore, she said that the "PTI has failed not only in Punjab but in the entire country."

Avenfield properties reference

The Avenfield reference pertains to the Park Lane apartments (flats 16, 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom), of the Sharif family and includes former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his three children, and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar as accused.

The reference was among three filed against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year on the Supreme Court's directives in the Panama Papers case.

Case’s conclusion

An accountability court had awarded 10 years of imprisonment along with an £8 million fine to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, seven years of imprisonment along with a penalty to Maryam, and one year of imprisonment to Captain Safdar in Avenfield properties reference on July 6, 2018.

Sharif, Maryam, and Safdar had been released from the Adiyala Jail on September 19 over the IHC’s orders for their release, nullifying the sentences awarded to them by an accountability court in the reference.

Moreover, the court also sentenced Maryam to one year in prison for submitting false documents in court.

The court has also ruled that the Avenfield apartments of the Sharif family, in their possession since 1993, shall be seized by the federal government.