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Maryam, husband to challenge verdict; Sharif lands in ‘B’ class jail

Islamabad, July 14: Ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam and her husband have decided to appeal against the July 6 verdict by an accountability court. The two along with Sharif were convicted and sentenced in absentia to lengthy prison terms in connection with their ownership of properties in London. The appeal, that will be filed on July 16, was drafted on Saturday. Maryam Nawaz’s legal team was still in Adiala Jail to get the power of attorney but was unable to file the appeal before the court hours ended. Court hours last till 1 p.m. during summer vacations.

The appeal — that highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgement — asks for the accountability court’s verdict to be declared null and void. It further pleads for the sentence of Safdar Awan, Maryam’s husband, be suspended till a decision on the appeal was reached. Officials from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption watchdog, placed the Sharifs under arrest. They were transferred to Adiala prison on the outskirts of Rawalpindi. Sharif was allotted a ‘B’ class category in prison. According to sources in the know of the developments, the plan regarding Sharif and daughter’s stay at jail was amended thrice after which it was decided to allot the Sharif a ‘B’ class jail which has facilities such as a 21-inch television, newspapers, a bed and fan. It was also decided to keep Maryam in Adiala Jail’s women’s cell and not in Sihala rest house as suggested earlier. The trial of two remaining NAB cases against the Sharifs will take place in the jail, according to a government notification. After the court’s verdict, the remaining cases pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Limited. (IANS)

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