Verdict expected in ex-Pakistani prime minister Sharif's corruption trial

Verdict expected in ex-Pakistani prime minister Sharif's corruption trial

Verdict expected in ex-Pakistani prime minister Sharif's corruption trial

The Accountability Court sentenced former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years of imprisonment on Friday in one of the three corruption cases.

Abbasi added that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court ordered Sharif to pay a fine of $10.6 million (8 million pounds) and Maryam was fined $2.65 million (2 million pounds), while ordering the confiscation of the London properties on behalf of the Pakistani government. Maryam's husband retired Captain Safdar was sentenced to a year in prison.

He and his children are in London with Nawaz's wife, Kulsoom, who is being treated for cancer.

The court says he and his family had failed to disclose the source of funds used to purchases luxurious London properties and had not reported them to tax authorities. Sharif's two sons, who are British citizens, also ignored the repeated court summons.

"Today's verdict shows that these Avenfield apartments were purchased using corruption money", prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said.

Will Nawaz Sharif's conviction damage his votebank?

The Supreme Court agreed to investigate the Sharif family's finances after Khan threatened street demonstrations to protest graft. He pointed out that "when the court concludes the arguments, the accused is put on notice and under the law he should be brought to court, or the court orders the accused to ensure attendance".

Sharif has a history of conflict with the military even though his political career was initially nurtured by military dictator Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s.

Responding to news of the sentences, Nawaz Sharif's brother didn't mention the military - but spared little criticism in his take on the verdict.

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Sharif had denounced the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witch-hunt, often suggesting the hidden hand of the military was to blame.

Analysts believe that if they return, it might boost the chances of good showing in elections by the PML-N due to sympathy vote.

The corruption controversy erupted with the publication in 2016 of Panama Papers documenting offshore dealings of the world's rich and powerful. "He has undergone disqualification and life imprisonment before", she said in a tweet.

Following the coup he was allowed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia.

2013 - Elected prime minister for third time.

The verdict is being seen as a potentially significant boost for PTI.

Khan for his part greeted news of the verdict with jubilation at a campaign rally in the Swat valley in Pakistan's northwest.

"We are very happy today as a big thief has been punished by judiciary", said Imran Khan, a popular former lawmaker whose Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party is also running for office.

"This decision was in fact written and dictated by armed forces", Mohamed Sidique Awan, an attorney and Sharif supporter, claimed when speaking with NPR's Diaa Hadid.

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