Avenfield, Al-Azizia hearing: Nawaz moves applications in IHC

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up on Tuesday (tomorrow) appeals of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar against their conviction in the Avenfield reference.

The court will also take up the PML-N supremo’s appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris moved two miscellaneous applications in the IHC, stating that his client can’t appear before the court tomorrow and requested exemption from personal appearance on his behalf on medical grounds.

The applications submitted to the IHC registrar will be taken up along the appeals tomorrow. A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will hear the case.

The appeals of Nawaz and Maryam against the Avenfield verdict will come up for hearing after a passage of more than a year.

The accused have been out on bail since Sept 19, 2018 when the IHC suspended the 10-year, seven-year, and one-year imprisonment handed down to Nawaz, Maryam, and Safdar, respectively by an accountability court on July 6, 2018. The Supreme Court later upheld the suspension of their conviction while rejecting the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the high court’s decision.

The court will also take up Nawaz’s appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference on September 1. NAB’s appeals, including one seeking an increase in the PML-N supreme leader’s sentence in the Al-Azizia case from seven years to 14 years and the other against his acquittal in the Flagship reference, will also be heard.

Accountability court Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had handed the verdicts in the Al-Azizia and Flagship cases. He was later dismissed from his post following a video scandal.

Addressing a press conference alongside top PML-N leadership on July 6, 2019, Maryam had shown reporters a video in which judge Arshad Malik was heard saying that there was “no proof of corruption against the deposed premier” in the Al-Azizia reference and that he was coerced into convicting him.