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January 2, 2019

Al-Azizia verdict: Nawaz petitions IHC for bail, release

Top Story

January 2, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday challenged the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference verdict in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Judge Arshad Malik had sentenced Nawaz to seven years in jail along with a fine of $25 million in Al-Azizia reference on Dec 24, 2018. However, he acquitted him in Flagship Investment reference.

The former prime minister is serving his term at Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore.

Nawaz’s defense counsel Khawaja Haris challenged the Accountability Court-II decision in Islamabad High Court (IHC).

In his 61-page appeal, Nawaz requested the court to declare his sentence null and void and release him on bail.

He argued that the accountability court's verdict was based on incorrect interpretation of the law.

The court, which announced the verdict, failed to cater to the objections raised by him, he said.

The appeal further claimed that the judge "betrayed his predisposition and exceeded his position as a trial judge" during the case hearing.

Khawaja Haris has also filed a separate petition seeking suspension of Nawaz’s sentence in the reference.

A two-member division bench of Islamabad High Court will hear the appeal against Nawaz’s conviction and sentence. The judge has also barred Nawaz from holding a public office for 10 years after completing his sentence.

He had also ordered seizure of Hill Metal Establishment and issued perpetual arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz who were declared proclaimed offenders.

In Al-Azizia reference against Nawaz Sharif’s elder son Hussain Nawaz claimed that to establish a steel mill in Saudi Arabia he received a sum of 5.4 million USD from his grandfather.

To establish Al-Azizia in 2001, scrap machinery was transported from their Ahli Steel Mills in Dubai to Jeddah.

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