LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is set to challenge his conviction in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case in the Islamabad High Court in the coming week, says his legal counsel.
“We are finalising the draft of the appeal against the verdict and it is likely to be filed early next week,” Khawaja Haris, lead counsel for the Sharif family, told Dawn on Saturday.
On Monday, an accountability court in Islamabad had handed down seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Nawaz Sharif along with a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establishment reference. It, however, acquitted him in the Flagship Investment reference.
Lawyers’ team in meeting with Maryam discusses issues related to appeal
The legal team of Mr Sharif had also held a meeting with Maryam Nawaz and discussed legal issues regarding challenging the court’s verdict.
The PML-N hopes that Mr Sharif will get relief from the high court, as it claims no corruption has been proved against him.
“According to our legal team, the judgement of the accountability court is very weak and we have strong grounds to pin our hopes on the high court for relief,” PML-N senior leader and former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal told Dawn. He claimed that “justice has not been served as there are many loopholes in the judgement” in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.
“Even the accountability court did not appear fully convinced and handed down seven-year imprisonment instead of 14. The high court is a forum whose judgements are a part of history and one gets relief in such cases,” Mr Iqbal hoped.
The accountability court also barred Mr Sharif from holding public office for 10 years after completing his sentence. It also ordered confiscation of Hill Metal Establishment and issued perpetual warrants of arrest for his sons, Hussain and Hassan, who were declared proclaimed offenders.
Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2018