Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

The rise and fall of Nawaz Sharif

Security personnel have been deployed at the accountability court today. ─ DawnNewsTV Security personnel have been deployed at the accountability court today. ─ DawnNewsTV
Ellis Copeland | 06 July, 2018, 19:25

The court also ordered their properties to be forfeited in favour of the federal government.

After it came to light that the Sharif family had purchased several lavish apartments in London through offshore companies, Pakistan's Supreme Court found that the disgraced prime minister had failed to properly disclose his financial assets - several of which were "disproportionate to his means of income" - and disqualified him from office.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the case, along with two others, on the Supreme Court's directives in the landmark Panamagate verdict a year ago which disqualified Sharif, the three-time prime minister.

The Sharif clan and their supporters have repeatedly denied the allegations of corruption, suggesting Nawaz is the victim of a conspiracy driven by the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for roughly half of its 70-year history.

A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Friday sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison over the purchase of upscale London flats, prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbas said. The graft case also implicated Sharif's sons, Hassan and Hussain. Sharif and his co-accused daughter, Maryam Nawaz, both of whom are in London since June monitoring the health of Sharif's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is being treated for throat cancer, pleaded their inability to appear before the court. They have previously said they would appeal any convictions. "Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed over $2.6 million and her husband Muhammad Safdar was awarded one year rigorous imprisonment", Abbasi told media outside the court.

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Following the verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan stated that Maryam's name will be removed from the ballot papers of the NA-127 constituency after which new ballot papers will be printed. However, the plea was dismissed and the verdict was announced in their absence.

Maryam's husband Captain Safdar has been given 1 year jail.

He fell out with powerful generals once he ascended to power a decade later, and the relationship between them was fraught after Sharif returned as premier in 2013, partly because Sharif challenged the military over control of foreign policy, which the generals have traditionally seen as their domain.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14 a year ago. In July, last year, Sharif was ousted by the Pakistan supreme court in the Panamagate scandal.

Court hearings continue pending a decision on the other two corruption references against the Sharifs, but they do not include Nawaz and Awan.

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