27 December, 2018
Former Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption Monday, state media reported, the latest conviction in a series of allegations which saw him ousted from power last year.
Addressing the media PML-N leader and former governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair urged Supreme Court and NAB to start the same accountability drive with the same speed against the members of PTI involved in various corruption cases as they take up the cases of PML-N leaders. They later bailed on appeal when the Islamabad High Court suspended their sentence in September.
The three-time former prime minister, who was taken into custody by police following the court judgement, was taken to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Monday. It, however, acquitted him in the Flagship Investments corruption case in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal.
Sharif's sons - Hassan and Hussain - who are not in Pakistan, were declared absconders.
Documents leaked from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2016 had revealed that Nawaz Sharif's children had links to offshore companies, which were used to buy assets including the London apartments.
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Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar were sentenced to 10 years, seven years and one year in prison, respectively by the same court in July in the Avenfield case - ownership of four luxury flats in London.
Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif protest against a court ruling, in Multan, Pakistan, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. At that time the children were minors, and the purchase is assumed to have been made by Sharif. Earlier, Judge Malik requested Supreme Court to give extension for concluding remaining cases against Sharifs.
He was first expelled from office in 1993 on suspicion of corruption. Sharif's second term as prime minister ended in 1999 after he was deposed by then army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup.
A large number of PML-N supporters and workers gathered outside Kot Lakhpat jail to show their support for the former prime minister as he arrived at the premises. Nawaz has never accepted any connection with his son's business, although the Bureau alleges that his name was listed as chairman of the board, further adding that Hasan was under the guardianship of his father till 1995. In addition, the court also ordered him to pay $25 million. He said that Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in private two days prior to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills verdict were talking about the decision.
"Nawaz Sharif is trying for plea bargain by offering two billion United States dollars to set him free, through various sources", Vawda continued. Moreover, it's expected that other opposition political parties are likely to support the PML-N in its effort to lead the agitation as many of them also face the same pressures at the state level.