Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif, daughter freed from jail

PTI leader Faisal Javed- File

PTI leader Faisal Javed- File

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has chose to challenge today's ruling of the Islamabad High Court that ordered release of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar on bail.

The Sharifs' convictions are still under appeal with the same Islamabad High Court, but a judge on Wednesday ruled they should be freed immediately while the case continues.

The National Accountability Bureau is expected to appeal the Islamabad High Court's verdict at the Supreme Court. Justice Athar Minallah also directed Sharif, Maryam and Safdar to submit bail bonds worth Rs 0.5 million each.

File image of Nawaz Sharif.

"It also failed to prove how was Maryam Nawaz sentenced under the same charge sheet which convicted Nawaz Sharif".

Earlier, during hearings, Justice Minallah had observed that the accountability court's July 6 verdict-sentencing Sharif to 10 years imprisonment, Maryam to 7 years and Safdar to 1 year and barring the accused from contesting elections or holding public office for 10 years after release-was "based on the assumption that the Avenfield properties are occupied by the children but owned by Nawaz".

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The Islamabad High Court made the decision on Wednesday on a corruption case handed down to the Sharifs by an anti-graft tribunal earlier this year.

Sharif was arrested on his return to the country in July this year.

The cases against the family stemmed from Panama Papers case in April 2016.

Sharif was disqualified from office by the country's Supreme Court past year over corruption allegations.

Amjad Pervez, a defense lawyer, said the required bonds have already been posted and that Sharif and his family would imminently be released from Adiala prison in the nearby garrison city of Rawalpindi where they have been serving 10-year, seven-year and one-year prison sentences, respectively. Their convictions will stand, although their sentences have been suspended.

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