The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday hinted at forming a larger bench to hear the National Accountability Bureau’s plea challenging the suspension of the prison sentences of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and her husband in a corruption case, reported The Express Tribune.
In September, the Islamabad High Court ordered the release of Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar and suspended their jail terms in connection with a corruption case related to the purchase of houses in London. In July, a lower court had sentenced Sharif to 10 years in jail, Maryam Nawaz to seven years and Safdar to a year in prison.
The accountability bureau’s plea was admitted on November 6 and a three-member bench of the Supreme Court was conducting a preliminary hearing of the case on Monday, according to Geo News. The bench said the defendants’ bail would remain in place, while the National Accountability Bureau’s plea against the suspension of the sentences would be heard separately.
The top court said it would see if there was a need to change the bench or constitute a larger bench to hear the accountability bureau’s appeal. The court then posted the matter for further hearing on December 12.
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 2017 Panamagate verdict, which disqualified 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.