An anti-graft tribunal sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption on Monday, drawing criticism from his party, which said the decision was a “black stain” on the justice system.
The verdict came after Sharif was removed from power last year over corruption allegations. He is accused of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income, and was arrested after the ruling was announced.
Sharif, however, has denied any wrongdoing. He can appeal the verdict, under which he was also fined $25 million for not disclosing how his family set up the Al-Azizia Steel Mills when he was exiled to Saudi Arabia by Pervez Musharraf, a former military ruler who toppled Sharif's government in 1999.
“They had to punish him and they have punished him in a false case,” said former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. “People will not accept this verdict.”