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Saturday Jul 14 2018

Maryam, Safdar's appeals against Avenfield verdict to be filed on Monday: sources

ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retired) Safdar Awan's appeals against the verdict in the Avenfield Properties corruption reference will be filed on July 16, sources familiar with the matter informed Geo News on Saturday.

An accountability court last week sentenced Maryam, the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to eight years in prison with a £2-million fine (Rs335-million), and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar to a year in prison. Nawaz himself was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped with a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion). 

Nawaz and Maryam arrived in Pakistan on Friday evening, where they were arrested upon their arrival and shifted to Adiala Jail in separate convoys. Safdar was arrested earlier on July 9.  

Maryam's appeal was drafted earlier today, however, her legal counsels who are still in Adiala Jail to get the power of attorney signed by their client were unable to file the petition before the court hours ended, sources further said. Court hours last till 1pm during summer vacations. 

The team of lawyers were present in the jail premises at the time this report was filed. 

According to information received by Geo News, the appeal — that highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgement — asks for the accountability court's verdict to be declared null and void. It further pleads for Captain (retd) Safdar's sentence to be suspended till a decision on the appeal is reached, sources said. 

The trial

The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.

On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.


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