Avenfield, Al-Azizia hearing: IHC orders Nawaz Sharif to surrender before court

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ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday gave former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a chance to surrender before the court.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Amer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was hearing appeals of Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in Al-Azizia and Avenfield property references. The court also took up the appeals of Maryam Nawaz and retired Captain Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield reference.

The court directed the PML-N supremo to appear before it no matter what condition he is in and adjourned the hearing of the case until Sept 10. Maryam along with her spouse appeared in court.

Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris had filed an application in the court the previous day, requesting the bench to either allow his client’s pleader to represent him in today’s proceedings or adjourn the hearing until his return.
Maryam and Capt Safdar also filed an application with a request for adjourning the Avenfield case until after Sept 5.

The accused have been out on bail since Sept 19, 2018 when the IHC suspended the 10-year, seven-year, and one-year imprisonment handed down to Nawaz, Maryam, and Safdar, respectively by an accountability court on July 6, 2018. The Supreme Court later upheld the suspension of their conviction while rejecting the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the high court’s decision.

Accountability court Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had handed the verdicts in the Al-Azizia and Flagship cases. He was later dismissed from his post following a video scandal.

Addressing a press conference alongside top PML-N leadership on July 6, 2019, Maryam had shown reporters a video in which judge Arshad Malik was heard saying that there was “no proof of corruption against the deposed premier” in the Al-Azizia reference and that he was coerced into convicting him.