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IHC hears Nawaz appeal in Al-Azizia case on 18th

IHC hears Nawaz appeal in Al-Azizia case on 18th

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear on Dec 18 the appeal filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.

The IHC registrar office has also scheduled the hearing of appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the acquittal of Mr Sharif in the Flagship Investment reference on the same date.

Accountability judge Mohammad Arshad Malik on Dec 24 last year convicted Mr Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference but acquitted him in the Flagship Investment reference.

In July, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders during a press conference claimed that accountability judge Arshad Malik had convicted Nawaz Sharif under duress and shared a secretly recorded “confessional” video of the judge with media persons.

The IHC division bench would also take up the judge video scandal the same day.

Earlier, the bench granted two-month bail to Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds. According to the order of the IHC, Mr Sharif may apply for the extension of bail to the Punjab government and the bail would remain intact until it is decided by the provincial authorities.

The former premier earlier this month flew to London after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government removed his name from the Exit Control List.

Mr Sharif was handed seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia reference with two fines — Rs1.5 billion and $25 million. A disqualification of 10 years from holding any public office was also part of the sentence.

The former premier, however, was acquitted in the Flagship Investments reference. Judge Arshad Malik while reading out the short order said there was no case against Mr Sharif in the Flagship reference.

In late October, Mr Sharif’s health deteriorated and he went through a long process of medical tests and treatment at the Services Hospital, Lahore. A chronic cardiac patient, the supreme leader of the PML-N developed a blood-related condition under which his platelet count dropped, sometimes to dangerous levels.

Finally, after a series of cabinet meetings and court hearings as well as an exchange of statements between the PML-N and the ruling PTI, he flew to London for medical treatment.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2019

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