Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in jail in corruption case

Nawaz Maryam entering the court premises earlier this year

Nawaz Maryam entering the court premises earlier this year

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was found guilty of corruption Friday and sentenced to 10 years in prison, while his daughter Maryam Nawaz received a seven-year jail term in the same case.

The verdict, a potentially significant boost for the main opposition party led by former World Cup cricketer Imran Khan, immediately raised questions over whether Sharif will return to Pakistan from London, where his wife is receiving cancer treatment. "Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed two million pounds (over United States dollars 2.6 million) and her husband Muhammad Safdar was awarded one year rigorous imprisonment", the NAB prosecution team chief Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told media outside the court.

Bashir also fined Sharif a sum of 8 million British pounds, about $10.6 million while his daughter was fined 2 million British pounds, about $2.6 million.

During the trial, the NAB presented around 21 witnessed to prove that Sharif family can not justify the money trail to buy four apartments in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London.

Sharif, who was ousted as prime minister a year ago for corruption, was also fined $8m by the National Accountability Bureau court.

Hours before the verdict, Maryam's husband Safdar referred to it as a "funeral" for justice, the PML-N media office said in a statement. We will fight in higher courts to reverse this judgment.

Court hearings continue pending a decision on the other two corruption references against the Sharifs, but they do not include Nawaz and Awan.

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The right to appeal is granted by Section-32 of the NAB Ordinance. The court's orders to the National Accountability Bureau to file the case were based upon the evidence collected by the court-appointed joint investigation team.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attends a seminar in Islamabad in April 2018. He called it a "black day" and said voters would give the "ultimate verdict" on July 25, according to Dawn.

The verdict marked a further fall for the PML-N supremo, who has been Pakistan's prime minister three times but never completed a term. The sentencing also disqualified Nawaz and Safdar for life. The PML later split and Nawaz formed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). "The decision is flawed, politically motivated & has glaring loopholes", Shehbaz Sharif said in a series of tweets. Both are now in London, but have said they will return home to face justice.

But it is not as if PML-N had not factored in such a verdict.

During his tenure before being disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, Sharif had a testy relationship with the powerful military as well as the judiciary. Over the last 12-13 months, despite the MSCI upgrade to emerging market status, news regarding Panama bled the Pakistan Stock Exchange to the tune of approximately 30pc.

TRT World's Kamran Yousaf has more from the capital, Islamabad. "Considering the 14-15pc collapse in the rupee in the last six months, the dollar-adjust loss is close to 40pc". "When it opens on Monday, the market is expected to return to fundamentals and a degree of normalcy".

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