10-year imprisonment awarded to Nawaz, 7-year to Maryam, 1-year to Safdar in Avenfield reference

10-year imprisonment awarded to Nawaz, 7-year to Maryam, 1-year to Safdar in Avenfield reference
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ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to ten years and Maryam Nawaz to eight year rigorous imprisonments in Avenfield reference .

Judge of the Accountability Court Islamabad Muhammad Bashir announced the reserved judgment in Islamabad on Friday.

Retired Captain Safdar has been awarded one year rigorous imprisonment.  

Maryam Nawaz was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment in Avenfield properties, while one year additional imprisonment for forgery. 

The court also imposed a fine of eight million pounds on Nawaz Sharif and two million pounds on Maryam Nawaz.

The accountability court asked the Federal Government to confiscate all Avenfield apartments.

The verdict adds that Avenfield apartments were purchased in 1993, 1995 and 1996 through Nelson Enterprises and Nescoll limited. 

It says Maryam Nawaz had been a beneficial owner of these apartments before 2006.

The trust deeds produced by her were found bogus. Maryam Nawaz was instrumental in concealment of the properties of his father. She aided, assisted, abetted, attempted and acted in conspiracy with her father.

The decision adds that when the London apartments were purchased Maryam, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were of 18, 20, and 17 years of age respectively and under the law, a person under the age of 18 is dependent on his parents.

The court further added that they shall be disqualified to contest election or to hold public office for a period of ten years to be reckoned from the date they are released after serving the sentence.

Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz being absconders are declared as proclaimed offenders and non bailable arrest warrants against them will be issued. 

Background

Troubles for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started in April 2016 when a Panamian law firm, Mossac Fonesca, revealed that top leaders from countries all over the world owned off-shore companies and assets to escape the tax regime.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on August 30, 2016 asking for disqualification Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif based on former Premier Yousuf Raza Gillani's disqualification.

In September 2016, PTI Chief Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rahseed submitted petitions to disqualify Nawaz Sharif, since he had concealed his assets in his nomination papers for 2013 election.

In April, 2017 Supreme Court announced a 3-2 split decision where two judges voted for disqualification of Nawaz Sharif while the other three voted for the constitution of a team to probe allegations leveled against the Sharifs.

On May 5, 2017 Supreme Court constituted a six-member bench with former director of the Federal Investigation Agency Wajid Zia as head of the team.

On July 10, 2017 JIT submitted its final report in the Supreme Court after a two month probe. On July 28, 2017 Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif. The Apex Court further directed NAB to file references against the former premier.

In August, 2017 NAB filed three references against the Sharif family and one against Ishaq Dar.

The three references were filed for their ownership of Avenfield properties in London, Al-Azizia Steel Mill and Hill Metal and Flagship Investment.

On October 19, 2017 Court indicted Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain retired Safdar for their involvement in the properties case.  

Next day, all the accused including Nawaz Sharif's sons were indicted for their alleged involvement in Flagship Investment reference.

On December 4, 2017, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz were declared absconders for not appearing before the court.

 AP

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