Defiant Maryam Sharif says 'real verdict' will be revealed on July 25

Leroy Wright
July 6, 2018

A Pakistani anti-graft tribunal on Friday announced a much-awaited ruling in a corruption case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, sentencing him to 10 years in prison over purchases of luxury apartments in London.

The court also imposed a fine of £8 million on Mr. Sharif and £2 million on Ms. Maryam.

"It is based on injustices".

The court asked the national anti-corruption bureau to launch a probe into the allegations against Sharif, which stem from the Panama Papers leak past year linking his family to lucrative offshore businesses.

Judge Mohammad Bashir concluded in his written statement that Sharif and his family had failed to disclose the source of funds they used to purchases luxurious London properties and did not report the purchases to tax authorities. The bureau registered the case on the basis of the Supreme Court's orders in its July 28 Panamagate verdict, which removed Sharif from the post of prime minister, reported Dawn.

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

"We reject this decision", Shahbaz Sharif told a televised press conference in Lahore shortly after the verdict. Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law Safdar was given a year sentence.

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The central leadership of the PML-N has been apprised about the return of Nawaz and Maryam.

Sharif had denounced the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witch-hunt, often suggesting the hidden hand of the military was to blame.

"Justice has been massacred", Maryam's husband Safdar said after the verdict.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half of its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.

He fell out with powerful generals once he ascended to power a decade later, and relations became fraught after his return as premier in 2013, partly because he challenged the military over foreign policy, which the generals traditionally considered their domain.

The PML-N has termed the trial political victimisation. The judge also ordered the Sharif family's London properties confiscated.

"A political bigwig has been sentenced to imprisonment for the first time in Pakistan's history", he remarked while talking to media.

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