Avenfield, Al-Azizia references: IHC adjourns Nawaz’s pleas against convictions till Nov 29

Avenfield, Al-Azizia references: IHC adjourns Nawaz’s pleas against convictions till Nov 29

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday adjourned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s appeals against his convictions in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia references till Wednesday (November 29).

A two-member bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb presided over today’s hearing.

At the outset of the hearing, Nawaz’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz presented a chronological list of event in the Panama reference against the Sharif family. He maintained that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had no option except to file references against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

Pervaiz argued that the Panama Papers Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed by the SC and that the JIT submitted their report to the apex court on July 10, 2017. He further stated that on July 28, then-premier Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and the SC ordered NAB to file a reference within six weeks of its verdict.

In July 2018, as the then-prime minister, Nawaz was handed 10 years in jail in the Avenfield properties corruption reference for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), both of which were to be served concurrently.

The Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference pertains to the case in which he was sentenced to seven years in jail on Dec 24, 2018. He was also fined Rs1.5 billion and US$25 million.

The IHC had declared him a proclaimed offender in both cases in December 2020. After leaving for London on medical grounds, Nawaz remained there for nearly four years and only returned to the country last month.

After returning from the UK, the PML-N leader had filed two separate applications seeking the restoration of his appeals against his conviction in both the references. He had contended that while he was abroad for medical treatment, the pending appeals were dismissed for non-prosecution.