An accountability court in Pakistan today sentenced ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison in one of the three corruption cases against him in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal.
His daughter Maryam was also sentenced to seven years and son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar to one year. Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir pronounced the verdict behind closed doors. The court delivered the verdict after postponing it for four times in the Avenfield corruption case — pertaining to the ownership of four flats in the posh Avenfield House in London.
Nawaz Sharif is in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. While Nawaz Sharif was fined 10 million dollar, his daughter Maryam was handed down a 2.6 million dollar fine. The judgement runs in over 100 pages. The ruling came weeks before the general elections in Pakistan on the 25th of July.
According to DawnNewsTV, the Sharif family, along with former finance minister Ishaq Dar, gathered at the Avenfield flats in London to watch the verdict.
The verdict, which was scheduled for Friday morning, was delayed five times, finally being announced a little after 4:30pm.
The counsel for the family had submitted an application to the accountability court on Thursday, seeking a seven-day postponement in announcement of the verdict. The plea, however, was rejected in the morning.
Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam tweeted following the verdict in the Avenfield reference, stating that her father Nawaz Sharif was returning and attempts were being made to stop him.
“Today was the last attempt and God willing it will be unsuccessful like before.”
Maryam in her tweets stressed that the resolve to fight against injustice had increased following the verdict. “You [Nawaz] chose Pakistan over your personal life. The nation is with you and victory will be yours,” Maryam tweeted.
Prior to the verdict in a series of tweets, Maryam Nawaz had advised party supporters against fretting over the court’s decision.
Maryam took to Twitter to state that “forces” have never been successful in breaking Nawaz Sharif’s resolve in the face of adversity.