Sharif challenges Al-Azizia verdict in Islamabad High Court

January 01, 2019

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Incarcerated PML-N leader claims that the decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law. — File
Incarcerated PML-N leader claims that the decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law. — File

PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case verdict, for which he is currently serving a prison sentence.

On Dec 24, 2018, the Accountability Court 2 of Islamabad had handed a seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Sharif along with a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establish­ment reference. It had, however, acquitted him in the Flagship Investment reference.

The accountability court, as part of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills judgement, had also barred Sharif from holding public office for 10 years after completing his sentence. It had also ordered confiscation of Hill Metal Establishment and issued perpetual warrants of arrest for his sons, Hussain and Hassan, who were declared proclaimed offenders.

Sharif's 61-page appeal against the verdict claims that the accountability court's decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law.

The available evidence, according to the three-time former prime minister, were not read correctly and that the judgement was made without considering the objections raised by the defence counsel.

Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris, who filed the appeal on Sharif's behalf, claimed that the judge "betrayed his predisposition and exceeded his position as a trial judge" during the hearing of the case.