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Tuesday Oct 23 2018

SC to hear NAB appeal against suspension of Sharifs’ jail term on Wednesday


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan will hear a petition filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday, challenging suspension of prison terms of members of the Sharif family in a Avenfield properties reference.

The NAB had filed the petition in the apex court on Monday challenging an earlier decision by the Islamabad High Court suspending sentences given to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar.

In its petition, the anti-corruption watchdog asked for the September 19 decision by IHC to be declared null and void, contending that the “IHC had failed to appreciate that through its order, it had seriously prejudiced the case of the prosecution by holding that the trial court judgement suffered from obvious and glaring defects and infirmities and that the convictions and sentences handed down to the accused might not be sustained ultimately.”

It prayed the apex court to restore the sentences awarded to the Sharifs and to cancel the bail granted to all the accused in the reference.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar earlier constituted a three-member bench headed by him to hear the appeal.

Meanwhile, the apex court issued a statement pertaining to reports of Justice Umar Ata Bandial's separation from the bench.

Justice Bandial has not separated himself from the bench; he is rather ill which is why Chief Justice Saqib Nisar constituted the bench again, said the statement issued by the Supreme Court.

The reports suggesting that Justice Bandial recused himself are baseless and the chief justice has taken strict notice of these reports aired on various news channels, it said.

Justice Nisar has also summoned CEOs of these channels at 2pm on Wednesday, the statement added.

Last month, Justice Minallah of the IHC had suspended the sentences handed to the former premier, his daughter and son-in-law by accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir on July 6.

Nawaz, Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield properties reference.

Ordering their release, the two-judge bench directed the former premier, his daughter and son-in-law to submit bail bonds worth Rs0.5 million each.