PM Nasirul Mulk’s Cabinet Green Lights Open Trial of Sharif Trio

JUL 18, 2018: The federal cabinet of caretaker government on Wednesday approved the open trial of convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in two remaining corruption references lodged against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The duo’s trial was expected to be held inside the prison premises citing security reasons, according to some media reports.

Sharif and daughter Maryam Safdar were arrested upon their arrival in Lahore on July 13 and moved to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi following an accountability court’s verdict in the Avenfield Apartments corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

On Jul 6, the court had sentenced the father and daughter to 10 and 7 years imprisonment and fines (including 1 year jail sentence to Maryam’s spouse Safdar) on grounds of white collar crime albeit having unjustifiable income beyond known source and means.

The trio’s lawyers have filed two separate petitions against the trial court’s conviction order, seeking suspension of sentences and transfer of the pending two NAB references to some other accountability court.

However, the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on their petitions till the month end, eliminating all chances of the three members of  Sharif family serving sentences in the famous Adiala Jail, to come out of prison on bail before the  July 25 polls.

Sharif’s party PML-N remains strong in Punjab — its traditional stronghold — where it has been ruling for a decade now — with several opinion polls showing Imran Khan’s PTI catching up. Less than a week remains before canvassing ends according to election rules.

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