Sharifs file appeals against accountability court’s verdict

High Court urged to set aside verdict ‘based on presumptions and assumptions’

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s top election campaign official Zulfi Bukhari with Amina Malik and other women party workers during the inauguration of the women’s wing election office.


Islamabad: Lawyers for Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (Retd) Mohammad Safdar filed seven separate appeals in the Islamabad High Court against the Accountability Court’s verdict of July 6, 2018.

The court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to a 10-year jail term, with a fine of £8 million (Dh38 million), and handed Maryam a seven-year sentence along with a £2 million fine. Safdar was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment though without any fine.

A High Court division bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb is expected to take up the petition for hearing on Tuesday.

The petitions have been filed by Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris and Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt Safdar’s counsel, Amjad Pervaiz.

The Accountability Court of Judge Mohammad Bashir, in the July 6 verdict, had found the three guilty in the Avenfield Reference.

 The matter relating to Calibri font in the trust deeds submitted by Maryam to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has also been mentioned in one of the petitions.

Of the seven appeals, three have been filed on behalf of Nawaz Sharif while two each were submitted on behalf of Maryam Nawaz and Capt Safdar.

In the said appeals, the IHC is urged to set aside the Accountability Court’s verdict and suspend its implementation until the IHC adjudicates on this matter.

The petitioners submitted before the court that the verdict is based on presumptions and assumptions, without fulfilling requirements of justice.

The petitioners have argued details of the Sharif family’s assets and liabilities were not submitted by the head of the Panama Papers case Joint Investigation Team.

This was despite the fact that he was the NAB’s star witness.

It is also submitted in the petition by Khawaja Haris, counsel for Nawaz Sharif that NAB had submitted that the Avenfield flats were worth more than the former PM’s known source of income, but at the same time the NAB had failed to give the value of the flats at the time of their purchase.

In a petition it has also been submitted that the prosecution provided no evidence that could establish Nawaz Sharif as the owner of the London flats.

The matter relating to Calibri font in the trust deeds submitted by Maryam to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) during the Panama Papers case investigation has also been mentioned in one of the petitions and it is submitted that the creator of the font, Robert Radley, himself had admitted that the font had existed at the time when the deeds were prepared.

The petitioners have also drawn the attention of the August court to the fact that the accountability court had announced the verdict in absentia, despite the fact that Sharifs had appealed to the court to delay the judgment for seven days.

At the time of the verdict, both Nawaz and Maryam were in London where Kulsoom Nawaz, who is under treatment against cancer and is reportedly on ventilator. Capt Safdar was though in Pakistan yet he was not present in court.

 

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