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Pakistan: Former-PM Nawaz Sharif conviction in Al-Azizia case suspended

Pakistan: Pakistan Muslim League President Nawaz Sharif's sentence in the Al-Azizia case has been suspended by the Interim Punjab Cabinet. This information has been given by local news agency. Nawaz Sharif will not be arrested in Al Azizia case after this decision.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Pakistan: Pakistan Muslim League President Nawaz Sharif’s sentence in the Al-Azizia case has been suspended by the Interim Punjab Cabinet. This information has been given by local news agency. Nawaz Sharif will not be arrested in Al Azizia case after this decision. Nawaz Sharif was convicted by accountability courts in Avenfield and Al-Azizia references. This means he is now eligible for running the next general elections.

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Sharif was in self-exile in London for the last four years, was convicted in the Al-Azizia case by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court in September, 2017 Earlier, the accountability court had awarded a 10-year jail term to Nawaz in the Avenfield case and a seven-year sentence in Al-Azizia reference. Besides, the court had also disqualified him from holding public office for the next ten years.

Former Law Minister Azam Tarar and lawyer Amjad Parvez filed petitions in the High Court on Sharif’s behalf. The High Court had on October 19 granted Sharif immunity from arrest in both cases till October 24 so that he could appear in court without fear of arrest. According to Pakistan English Daily, Dawn, the court had ousted Nawaz in 2018 and handed 10 years in jail in the Avenfield properties corruption reference.

He was charged for possessing assets beyond income and one year for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which were to be served concurrently. Sharif has served three terms as prime minister, but was forced to step down in 2017 after being found guilty of corruption and banned from politics for life. In the petitions, Sharif requested that the appeal against his conviction should be heard afresh and properly decided in accordance with law.

Former Prime Minister Sharif was convicted in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases and declared a fugitive in the Toshakhana vehicle case, which is pending before the Islamabad Accountability Court. When Sharif left for the UK on medical grounds in 2019, he was out on bail in these cases. The decision to suspend Sharif’s sentence was taken by the interim Punjab cabinet, the reports noted, adding that the move was undertaken under Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC) Section 401, which grants the government the right to suspend sentences in cases of conviction.

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