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, all assets frozen

ANI | Updated: Dec 24, 2018 23:31 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec 24(ANI): Just a day ahead of his birthday, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday was sent to jail for seven years by an accountability court here in a corruption case and his all assets was also frozen.
The Accountability Court in its judgment said: "In terms of Section 10 (a) of the Ordinance, all assets, properties, rights, receivables and interests of and in Hill Metal Establishment (HME) stand forfeited to the Federal Government of Pakistan."
"Meanwhile, under Section 9 (a)(v) of the Ordinance, the former Pakistan Prime Minister shall cease to hold any public office, if any, held by him, and further he shall stand disqualified for a period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date he is released after serving his above sentence, for seeking or being elected, chosen, appointed or nominated as the member of representative of any public body or any statutory or local authority or in the service of Pakistan or of any province," the court further ordered.
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 judgment, 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.
The accountability court inferred in its judgment that the former Pakistan Prime Minister has been prosecuted under Section 9 (a) (v) and Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).
The court judgment further mentioned that Sharif would also not be allowed to apply for or be granted or allowed any financial facilities in the form of any loan or advances or other financial accommodation by any bank or financial institution owned or controlled by the Government for a period of ten years.
The accountability court also said that the two sons of Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz Sharif and Hussain Nawaz Sharif are absconding and have already been declared as proclaimed offenders. "Perpetual non-bailable warrants of arrests are issued against them directing the NAB authorities to enter their names in the relevant register of Public Officers under intimation to this court," the court said. (ANI)