Pak court rejects Sharif's plea for bail

Pakistani court turned down a plea by jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif to suspend his sentence in a corruption case and grant him bail on medical grounds. (Reuters Photo)

A Pakistani court on Thursday turned down a plea by jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif to suspend his sentence in a corruption case and grant him bail on medical grounds.

Sharif has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018, when an accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia steel mills corruption case filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case.

A two-judge Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench comprising Justices Aamer Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani rejected the plea to grant bail to 69-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, Geo TV reported.

During previous hearings of the case, Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris told the court that his client was suffering from multiple dangerous diseases including diabetes, blood pressure and cardiac-related problems that cannot be treated in Pakistan, pleading to the bench to grant him bail as his life is in danger.

But the superintendent of the Kot Lakhpat jail and a medical officer earlier this week informed the court that Sharif’s health condition was better under the current medical treatment offered to him.

Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing and allege that the corruption cases against them were politically motivated.

On March 26, the Supreme Court suspended Sharif's seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case and granted him bail for six weeks with a condition that he would not leave Pakistan.

In May, the apex court rejected his review petition seeking bail on medical grounds and permission to go abroad for medical treatment.

The apex court ordered him to surrender before the court as soon as his interim bail period ended. The bench, however, suggested his counsel approach appropriate forum to get relief.

Sharif's counsel had approached IHC and cited medical reports stating that his condition was critical and required a stress-free environment to recuperate.

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