December 8, 2023

Maryam approaches court for annulment of Avenfield case verdict


Staff Reporter – ISLAMABAD:

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz approached the Islamabad High Court Tuesday seeking an annulment in the final verdict of the Avenfield Apartment case.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar were convicted in the case on July 6, 2018. They were sentenced to 10, seven, and one year in prison, respectively, for owning assets beyond means.

Consequently, the accused persons filed appeals against the conviction in the Islamabad High Court after which their sentences were suspended and they were released on bail.

The National Accountability Bureau is now seeking disposal of the appeals within 30 days.

In a petition filed on Tuesday, Maryam claimed that her conviction and Islamabad High Court’s verdict were a “classic example of violations of law and political engineering hitherto unheard of in the history of Pakistan”.

A speech by former IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui at the District Bar Association, Rawalpindi on July 21, 2018, was attached with the petition as well. It quoted: “The ISI officials had approached the chief justice asking him to make sure Nawaz and his daughter should not be bailed before the elections.”

The petition stated that the Supreme Court supervised the investigation and monitored the prosecution in this case. “This has never been done before in the history of Pakistan. The role of the Supreme Court in the constitution is neither that of an investigator nor that of a prosecutor.”

Maryam urged the court to take notice of these violations, acquit them of all the charges, and quash the sentence. She also referred to Accountability Judge Arshad Malik whose video, which had gone viral, claimed that he had been “pressured and blackmailed” to convict Nawaz Sharif.

Later in the day, two objections were filed by the Registrar Office of the Islamabad High Court against Maryam’s request. They stated that the PML-N leader appeal is similar to that submitted earlier. She can only assume fresh ground in it after permission from the court.

The petition and the objections will be heard by a special bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani, on October 6.

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