Sharif family file appeal in the IHC against Accountability Court verdict

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Sharif family file appeal in the IHC against Accountability Court verdict

ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Captain (retd) Safdar Awan filed an appeal against the verdict in the Avenfield Properties corruption reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday.

An accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the corruption reference while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Additionally, Nawaz's son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.

The appeal — that highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgement — asks for the accountability court's verdict to be declared null and void and the three convicts to be released on bail.

The appeal states that Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head and prosecution's star witness Wajid Zia himself accepted that a response to the mutual legal assistance (MLA) request was not received. It further said that levelling allegations without receiving a response to the MLA was mala fide.

Legal counsels of the convicts have contended that the prosecution’s witness Robert Radley not only stated that Calibri font was available for testing purposes, he admitted to having downloaded and used the Calibri font which was available as pre-release of Windows Vista known as BETA-1 since the year 2005 while simultaneously admitting that he was neither a computer expert nor an IT expert or a computer geek