Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other Sharif family members convicted in the Avenfield reference on Monday submitted appeals against the verdict in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as the ten-day deadline for the review petition expired.
Nawaz’s daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar also filed the appeals after being sentenced by Judge Bashir of the accountability court. A appeal was also filed against conducting the proceedings of the remaining two references within jail premises. Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, Amjad Pervaiz, Maryam and Safdar’s counsel, filed the appeals on their plaintiff’s behalf.
A separate appeal was filed to request the transfer of the case to another accountability court as the defence counsel argued that Judge Bashir had already made public his opinion on multiple aspects of the case. The same appeal had been filed earlier and were instructed by the court to pursue the matter in the relevant high court.
Nawaz was sentenced to ten years, Maryam to seven and Safdar to one for their involvement in the Avenfield apartments reference.
After almost 10 months of continuous trial, an accountability court found former premier Nawaz and two of his family members guilty in one of the four corruption references filed against them in line with the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order and awarded them ‘rigorous imprisonment’ and heavy financial penalties.
The accused were also disqualified to contest election or to hold public office for a period of 10 years to be reckoned from the date they are released after serving the sentence and they shall not be allowed to apply for or to be granted or allowed any financial facilities in the form of a loan for a period of 10 years from the date of their conviction within the meaning of section 15 of NAO 1999.
The historic decision was to be announced earlier but after multiple delays, the judge read out the operative paragraphs of the 174-page judgment at around 4:30 in the absence of the accused.