File photo of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
File photo of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Sharif sent to 7 years in jail in corruption case, just a day ahead of birthday

ANI | Updated: Dec 24, 2018 18:44 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec 24(ANI): Just a day ahead of his birthday, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Monday sent to jail for 7 years by an accountability court here in a corruption case.
Sharif was also slapped with a fine of USD 2.5 million in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets, which was initiated against him on September 14 last year, according to Pakistani media reports.
After the verdict, the 68-year-old leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N) was taken into custody from the court premises for being sent to Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, Geo News reported.
Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik sentenced Sharif, saying there was concrete evidence against him in the Al-Azizia reference and that he was unable to provide a money trail in the case.
The sentence came just a day ahead of Sharif’s 69th birthday.
The court, however, acquitted him in another case related to the Flagship Investments reference.
The two cases, along with one more, were initiated against Sharif by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year after the Supreme Court ordered his disqualification from Prime Ministership.
After the judgement, Sharif told reporters, “My conscience is clear as I never did corruption... I never misused my powers.”
Sharif requested that he be sent to Kot Lakhpat jail and not Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, which was conceded by the judge.
In July, Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were convicted in absentia in another case -- Avenfield corruption reference -- by the accountability court.
Apart from jail sentences, fines of eight million pounds and two million pounds were slapped on the father-daughter duo, respectively.
Sharif's son-in-law, Captain (retd.) Muhammad Safdar, was also given a one-year sentence but was exempted from paying fine.
However, the trio was released in September by the Islamabad High Court owing to lack of evidence.
Earlier this month, Pakistan's Supreme Court had asked the accountability court to wrap up the corruption cases by December 24, after previously granting it seven extensions to conclude the NAB references.   (ANI)