ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar Awan will challenge the accountability court’s verdict in the Avenfield reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), sources informed.
An accountability court had pronounced the verdict in the corruption reference against the Sharif family on Friday, sentencing Nawaz to 11 years in prison along with a £8 million fine. The former premier’s daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million), while Captain (retd) Safdar received a one-year prison sentence.
The Sharif family will challenge the July 6 verdict in the IHC on Monday, July 9, sources informed.
Khawaja Haris — the legal counsel of Nawaz — has prepared the appeals for his client along with Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar against the July 6 verdict, sources said. The former premier, his daughter, and son-in-law have signed the power of attorney (wakalatnama).
The defence lawyers have informed their clients that the possibility of getting any relief in the sentence would be difficult if they fail to return to Pakistan within ten days, sources further said.
Captain (retd) Safdar’s name has been added to the black list, meaning that he cannot exit Pakistan through any airport, land or sea route.
Former first daughter Maryam Nawaz, while speaking to media in London, said that Nawaz Sharif and she will return to the country before the 10-day deadline for appeal against the decision ends.
Maryam said that consultation is underway against the decision and the lawyers are looking at the matter from legal angles.
“Due process will be implied against the court’s decision,” said Maryam Nawaz, adding that the institutions in the UK have already told the Pakistani institutions that no illegality was carried out.”
Following Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s conviction in Avenfield reference on Friday, authorities at Central Jail Kot Lakhpat Lahore and Adiala Jail Rawalpindi are finalising arrangements for the imprisonment of the former prime minister and his daughter at either of the two prisons.
According to jail sources, the two are likely to serve their sentences at either Kot Lakhpat or Adiala jail, where they could be classified as ‘B-class’ prisoners if their living quarter is declared to be a ‘sub-jail’.
According to prison regulations, prisoners can be placed in a ‘sub-jail’ if they face a threat to their lives. Such ‘B-class’ prisoners are allowed to wear regular clothes rather than the standard prison uniforms. They can also arrange for their meals to be brought to them from their homes, and can cook themselves as well.