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Pak's SC issues notices to Nawaz Sharif, his daughter on NAB's appeal

Pak's SC issues notices to Nawaz Sharif, his daughter on NAB's appeal

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PTI
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Islamabad, Oct 24 (PTI) Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on an appeal filed by the country's top anti-graft agency challenging the suspension of their sentences in a corruption case.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar Tuesday constituted a three-member bench headed by him to hear the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) plea challenging the September 19 Islamabad High Court (IHC) order suspending the jail sentences of Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield corruption case.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Nisar on Wednesday issued the notices to Sharif and his daughter, Urdu langauge news channel Samaa TV reported.

The court, however, rejected the NAB request to issue notices to Safdar, saying his jail term is very low and therefore, notice would not be issued to him.

Sharif, Maryam and Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield properties case related to their purchase of four luxury flats in London through corrupt practices.

The NAB filed the petition in the apex court on Monday challenging an earlier decision by the IHC suspending the sentences given to the trio by an anti-corruption court.

In its petition, the accountability bureau asked for the September 19 decision by IHC to be declared null and void. It prayed the apex court to restore the sentences given to the Sharifs and to cancel the bail granted to the three accused in the case.

Last month, Justice Minallah of the IHC suspended the sentences handed to the three accused by accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir on July 6.

Ordering their release, the two-judge bench directed the former premier, his daughter and son-in-law to submit bail bonds worth Rs 500,000 each.

The 68-year-old three-time former prime minister and his family have denied any wrongdoing.

Apart from the Avenfield case, the Sharifs face jail terms if they are convicted in two more corruption cases related to Al-Azizia and Flagship cases. The cases against the Sharif family stemmed from the leaked Panama Papers in April 2016.

The three were also disqualified to contest elections or to hold public office for a period of 10 years after their release from prison. Both Maryam and Safdar are also politicians.

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