Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption

Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption

A political ally said Sharif would return to Pakistan from London to file an appeal, facing arrest on arrival just before the election, in which his party is in a close race with opposition figure Imran Khan's party.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court on Friday convicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years of prison and a financial penalty of worth €8 million, while his daughter Maryam Nawaz was handed 7 years of imprisonment and a fine of £2 million, his son-in-law Safdar Awan was given 1 year sentence for not co-operating in the Avenfield reference corruption case.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are now in London visiting Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.

Pakistan's military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history, denies involvement in civilian politics. Nawaz now faces arrest if he returns to the country.

Maryam Nawaz was expected to lead the centre-right Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) election campaign but the verdict now makes her ineligible.

"This decision is based on injustice". "This decision will be written in black words in history", he said. Imran Khan was adamant to pursue the case for which he held rallies and protests.




"Today all Pakistanis must offer thanksgiving prayers because today is the beginning of a new Pakistan". "Now big plunderers will not come to power, but will go to jail".

"The court sentenced Sharif to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined eight million pounds (over $10 million)".

However, political analyst Qamar Cheema said that those thinking of capitalizing on the verdict should not underestimate thepopularity of the former ruling party among the masses.

Sharif also said he hadn't yet read the verdict but it reportedly stated that the prosecution couldn't prove any allegation of corruption, and this was a "matter of pride for me". The verdict could mark not only the end of the Sharif's turbulent political dynasty but a turning point in a bitterly fought general election campaign, with polling only three... The military has said it does not interfere in the media.

The corruption controversy erupted with the publication a year ago of 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca documenting the offshore dealings of numerous world's rich and powerful.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references, whereas Maryam and her husband Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference. "Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed two million pounds (over United States dollars 2.6 million) and her husband Muhammad Safdar was awarded one year rigorous imprisonment", the NAB prosecution team chief Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told media outside the court. The longtime politician's first two terms in power ended abruptly under military pressure, the second time by outright coup.

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