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Agencies
January 14, 2019

Avenfield reference: Hearing of Nawaz’s bail case today

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Agencies
January 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will hear the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the suspension of sentences handed to Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield reference today (Monday).

The appeal will be heard by a five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.

The accountability court in July last year had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the NAB, handing Nawaz Sharif 10 years imprisonment for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the Bureau. His daughter was given seven years for abetment after she was found "instrumental in concealment of properties of her father" and one year for non-cooperation with the Bureau.

The father and daughter upon their return to Lahore on July 13 were arrested by the NAB authorities and shifted to the Adiala Jail. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) in September, however, granted them bail after suspending their sentences.

The corruption watchdog had subsequently filed an appeal — which was accepted by the SC — in which it contended that the IHC had failed to appreciate that, through its order, it had seriously prejudiced the case of the prosecution by holding that the trial court judgment suffered from obvious and glaring defects and infirmities and that the convictions and sentences handed down to the accused might not be sustained ultimately.

Earlier, the IHC allowed the former prime minister's request for the early hearing of his appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment reference. The court directed that it be fixed for hearing within 10 days. Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani also set a petition seeking the suspension of Nawaz Sharif's sentence for hearing.

Barrister Munawwar Duggal had filed an application seeking the immediate hearing of the appeal against the verdict announced by an accountability court in the reference on December 24 last year.

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