Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif gets 10-year jail term ahead of polls

Saturday, 07 Jul, 2018

While Sharif was fined 8 million pounds (USD 10 million), his daughter Maryam was handed down a 2 million pound (USD 2.6 million) fine.

The case pertains to a number of properties against the Sharif family in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London.

The guilty verdict in absentia against Sharif, 68, threatens to end the career of one Pakistan's most high-profile politicians over the last four decades, a political survivor who served as prime minister on three occasions.

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif react outside a court following a ruling against him, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, July 6, 2018.

Sharif's 44-year-old daughter and co-accused Maryam was also given seven years for abetment, and one year for non-cooperation with the anti-corruption bureau - also to run concurrently.

A copy of the verdict said the Sharif family had failed to prove a legal source of income for the purchase of Avenfield apartments in 1993, 1995 and 1996. "Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed two million pounds (over United States dollars 2.6 million) and her husband Muhammad Safdar was awarded one year rigorous imprisonment", the NAB prosecution team chief Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told media outside the court.

At least on Friday, it appeared unlikely that either Nawaz Sharif or his daughter would appear in Pakistan to go to jail.

The former opposition leader of the National Assembly said such a judgement at this time would raise different concerns, which may go in Nawaz Sharif's favour.

"Pakistani people and PML-N reject this verdict".

"We are still deliberating the appeal option but I feel we should take it", said Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, former federal minister and PML-N spokesperson. History will remember this verdict in black words.

As per an election campaign travel log of party supremo Imran Khan, he will be making several campaign stops at 25 different cities of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh ahead of the July 25 general election.

Analysts believe that if they return, it might boost the chances of good showing in elections by the PML-N due to sympathy vote. So, a powerful civilian leader Nawaz Sharif was a thorn for the army.

But the military ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup.

April 13, 2018 - The Pakistan Supreme Court further rules Sharif is banned from political office for life.

The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's critical health.