The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by the country’s anti-graft body against the suspension of the prison sentences of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and her husband in a corruption case, The Express Tribune reported.
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’s Avenfield House. 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.
A five-member bench of the top court, led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar upheld the Islamabad High Court’s verdict suspending the sentences and said the National Accountability Bureau failed to provide the “ground for cancellation of bail”. Besides, the High Court did not exceed its authority in granting bail, the court added.
“Person [Nawaz Sharif] is in prison and there is no allegation about the misuse of bail,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said, adding that he had also regularly appeared in court for hearings.
Sharif is currently serving a seven-year term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in another corruption case. Last month, a court in Pakistan had sentenced him to seven years in jail and fined him $2.5 million (approximately Rs 17.5 crore) in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case. The Avenfield and Al-Azizia Steel Mills cases were among three cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau against Sharif and his children in September 2017 – the third being the Flagship Investment case in which the former priem minister was acquitted.
The bureau had filed the cases on the basis of the Supreme Court’s orders in its July 2017 Panamagate verdict, which had disqualified Sharif from the post of prime minister.