The accountability court on Friday announced the verdict in the Avenfield corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), handing ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB. The sentences will run concurrently which means the former prime minister will serve 10 years in jail.
His daughter Maryam Nawaz was handed 7 years for abetment in the purchase of the high-end properties in London, and 1 year for non-cooperation with the bureau — also to run concurrently; she will serve 7 years in total.
Son-in-law Captain Safdar has been given 1 year jail time — also for not cooperating with NAB.
Nawaz has been handed a fine of 8 million pounds, while Maryam has been fined 2m pounds. The money will go into the state treasury.
According to AFP, prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbas also said that the court had ordered the properties, in London’s exclusive Mayfair, be confiscated by the federal government.
NAB had filed the reference, along with two others, on the Supreme Court’s directives in the landmark Panamagate verdict last year which deseated Nawaz as the prime minister.
Four members of the Sharif family ─ Nawaz, Maryam, Hassan and Hussain ─ are in London, while Captain Safdar is in Pakistan, but is not present in court.
Soon after the verdict, Maryam took to Twitter to share this message: “This is a very small punishment for firmly standing in front of unseen forces. The morale to fight against oppression has increased today.”
NAB will now wait for a certain time period for all three convicts to surrender. If they fail to do so, NAB will initiate the procedure to bring Maryam and Nawaz back, and arrest Safdar.