Pak court to hear Sharif's appeal against conviction

Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif. (AFP Photo)


A Pakistani court will hear on Monday the appeal of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in a corruption case.

Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case - one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in the Panama Papers scandal.

He later filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his conviction. The court began hearing the petition last month.

A two-member bench will conduct the hearing. Sharif has also made the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent as parties in the plea.

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

Sharif was removed as prime minister following a judgement by the Supreme Court on July 28, 2017. The top court also ordered to launch three cases of corruption against Sharif and his family.

Sharif along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar was convicted in the Avenfiled case last year but the sentence was later suspended by the IHC. The case was related to the ownership of the Sharif family's apartments at Avenfield House, London.

He was however convicted in the Al-Azizia steel mill case for owning assets beyond means. However, Sharif was exonerated by the accountability court in the Flagship corruption case.

Sharif’s family and lawyer insist that the former premier should be set free as the judgment was tainted and the judge who delivered the verdict was also removed.

His conviction took an ugly twist when a video of judge Arshad Malik surfaced in which he confessed that he convicted the three-time premier under immense pressure from certain elements.

Malik was removed after his daughter Maryam released the video. 

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