Saturday Jul 07 2018

Nawaz, Maryam to return to Pakistan on Friday


LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz has said that she will return to Pakistan, along with her father, on Friday, despite being sentenced to eight years in prison in the Avenfield properties case.

The former first daughter was speaking to reporters in London, a day after the accountability court verdict.

"It's written in the verdict that Nawaz Sharif is not involved in corruption," she said. "My father has been acquitted from money laundering charges."

Maryam said that her father also faced accountability during the Musharraf regime, but nothing was proven against him.

The former first daughter said that the Avenfied case verdict, given by an accountability court, was solely based on assumptions.

"The United Kingdom authorities authenticated the trust deed," she added.

Maryam said the authorities should use red warrants to bring back dictators, who violated the Constitution of Pakistan.

She further said that consultation was underway against the decision and their lawyers were looking at the matter from different angles.

When asked whether they would return within before expiry of a 10-day deadline set for appeal, Maryam said, “Due process will be implied against the court’s decision.”

Meanwhile, sources informed Geo News that the former premier and his daughter will reach Lahore from London on July 13.

They said that Hamza Shehbaz would be in-charge of arrangements for welcoming the party supremo at the airport.

The PML-N ticket-holders have also been directed to reach the airport to welcome Nawaz, the sources added.

On Friday, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties reference. 

Apart from the prison sentence, Nawaz Sharif was given a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion), while Maryam was fined £2 million (Rs335 million).

The verdict

Nawaz has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment under NAB ordinance Section 9(a)(v), which relates to owning assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

The Section 9(a)(v) of the NAB ordinance states: “A holder of a public office, or any other person, is said to commit or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices…. if he or any of his dependents or benamidar owns, possesses, or has [acquired] right or title in any [“assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of any assets] or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot [reasonably] account for [or maintains a standard of living beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income.]”

On the other hand, Maryam has been sentenced to seven-year to prison for abetment.

According to the 173-page long verdict, "Accused Maryam Nawaz aided, assisted, abetted, attempted and acted in conspiracy with her father accused Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who was holder of Public Office."

Moreover, Maryam and Nawaz were given an additional year-long imprisonment for not cooperating during the investigation.