Islamabad: Pakistan’s deposed premier Nawaz Sharif was on Friday sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by an anti-graft court in one of the three corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal, dealing a huge blow to his party ahead of the elections on July 25.
Sharif’s 44-year-old daughter and co-accused Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of two million pounds, while her husband Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar was jailed for one year for not cooperating with the anti-graft authorities.
Amid tight security, the court delivered the much-anticipated verdict after postponing it for five times during the day in the Avenfield corruption case — pertaining to the ownership of four flats in the posh Avenfield House in London.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the case, along with two others, on the Supreme Court’s directives in the landmark Panamagate verdict last year which disqualified Sharif, the three-time prime minister.
Sharif, 68, is currently in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. The ruling came weeks before the general elections in Pakistan on July 25 and analysts say it could adversely hit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the party headed by Sharif.
After the verdict, Maryam and Safdar were disqualified from contesting elections. NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said the accused have 10 days to file an appeal against the verdict.