The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday ordered the release of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain Safdar and suspended their jail terms in connection with a corruption case related to the purchase of houses in London, Dawn reported. The release prompted celebrations among their supporters outside the court.
In July, a lower court had sentenced Sharif to 10 years in jail, Maryam to seven years and Safdar to a year in prison.
The High Court was hearing their appeals in the case on Wednesday. The court accepted the petitions and ruled that they should be immediately freed while it continues to hear the appeals. The court also directed them to submit bail bonds worth Rs 5 lakh each. They are expected to be released soon, after the formalities are completed, reports said.
“The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif,” Justice Athar Minallah said, according to Reuters. “It also failed to prove how was Maryam Nawaz sentenced under the same charge sheet which convicted Nawaz Sharif.”
“Justice has been served and I congratulate Nawaz Sharif’s supporters,” former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said.
The National Accountability Bureau had filed three cases related to the purchase of four flats in London’s Avenfield House against Sharif and his children. The bureau registered the case on the basis of the Supreme Court’s orders in its July 28 Panamagate verdict, which removed Sharif from the post of prime minister.
The agency had also named Sharif’s sons – Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz – as accused in the three cases. Sharif’s family insisted that they had purchased the apartments with “legitimate” financial resources but were unable to disclose those resources before either the accountability court or the Supreme Court.