Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

Geneva Stokes
September 20, 2018

His daughter Maryam Nawaz was given 7 years for abetment, and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar was given 1 year for non-cooperation with the anti-graft authority.

"The instant writ petition is allowed and sentence awarded to the petitioners by the accountability court shall remain suspended till the final adjudication of the appeal filed by the petitioner", reads the judgment.

The three are serving 10-, seven- and one-year prison sentences, respectively.

Sharif's party, the ex-ruling Pakistan Muslim League, meanwhile, lost in parliamentary elections later in July and has now taken on the mantle of the opposition to new Prime Minister Imran Khan's government.

Nawaz Sharif and his family have challenged in the Accountability Court order which convicted them on July 06 in the corruption case.

In the evening, the three were released from the prison, where many party leaders and a large crowd of supporters gathered to receive them, said Sen.

Sharif's release comes a week after the death aged 68 of Kulsoom, his wife of 47 years, who had been battling cancer in a London hospital.

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Sharif was disqualified from office by the country's Supreme Court past year over corruption allegations.

The court has not yet released a detailed judgement explaining the decision.

"Justice has been served, and I congratulate Nawaz Sharif's supporters", former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, a staunch Sharif ally, said outside the courtroom, where supporters chanted pro-Sharif slogans.

"Soon after the news spread, supporters of the former prime minister and his daughter Mariam Nawaz danced in the streets, distributed candies and chanted slogans", NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Karachi. He faces several court cases at home. The charges stemmed from leaked papers from a Panama law firm. They arrived in Lahore, the bastion of the Sharif family, on a special plane, where the trio received a rousing welcome from thousands of party supporters.

Nawaz Sharif has also been banned from public office for life.

"Their supporters should not celebrate so much as they will likely have to go again to Adiala prison", Faisal said.

He, however, said that it was a great day today as the court ordered release of their leader.

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