IHC to hear NAB appeals in Al-Azizia & Flagship references on Jan 21
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear the appeals of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia and Flagship references on January 21.
The bench comprising of Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhatr Kiyani will hear the appeals. The NAB has demanded an increase in the seven-year jail of Nawaz Sharif in the All-Azizia reference. In another appeal, it stated that the acquittal of Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship reference is not justified.
The court has already fixed the Nawaz Sharif’s appeal and plea for suspension of sentence on January 21.
Earlier, the IHC had accepted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea for early hearing of his appeal against conviction in the Al-Azizia reference. The court had ordered to fix the plea for hearing within 10 days.
Nawaz Sharif had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking early hearing of his appeal. The petition filed through his counsel contended that the court had directed to hear the petition for suspension of sentence along with the appeal.
The ex-prime minister’s legal team comprising lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Barrister Munawwar Duggal, Zubair Khalid and others had last week filed the petition as well as an appeal against Sharif’s conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.
The Islamabad High Court postponed the hearing of the petition seeking suspension of Nawaz Sharif’s jail sentence. A two-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had postponed the matter for an indefinite period as the petition cannot be heard unless the appeal is set for hearing. The petition will be taken up when a date is set for the hearing of the appeal.
Last week, the IHC Registrar’s Office had raised some administrative objections to the petition as the legal team submitted with it over 4,000 documents, including papers in foreign languages. Some documents were not readable due to which the petition was fixed for hearing after a delay. A defence lawyer removed these objections after which the Registrar’s Office fixed the case for a preliminary hearing.
Sharif seven years imprisonment besides fines of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al-Azizia reference.
The Supreme Court had on July 28, 2017, while deciding petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and other political leaders, disqualified Nawaz Sharif and directed the NAB to file three references — Avenfield Properties, Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment — against him and other members of his family in the accountability court.
Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had on July 6, 2018 convicted Sharif in the Avenfield reference and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
However, an IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb suspended the sentence in the Avenfield reference.