Nawaz Sharif requests for bail in Al-Azizia reference case

January 03, 2019

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Ousted premier moves Islamabad High Court for bail till it decides on his plea against the accountability court verdict. —AP/File
Ousted premier moves Islamabad High Court for bail till it decides on his plea against the accountability court verdict. —AP/File

Incarcerated PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif on Thursday asked the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to suspend his sentence in Al-Azizia corruption reference case till the high court decides on his plea against the verdict.

On December 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 case.

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 for the arrest of his sons, Hussain and Hassan, who were declared proclaimed offenders.

According to the application, Sharif had already challenged the sentence in the high court. The petition claimed that the accountability court had convicted the petitioner on the basis of unacceptable evidence while the court also avoided to respond to the objections being raised by the defendant in the case.

The application claimed that putting Sharif in jail on the basis of the Dec 24 verdict would be a violation of basic rights of the petitioner.

The IHC was urged to grant bail to Sharif until a decision on the appeal against the verdict is not decided.