Islamabad, December 24: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court on Monday sentenced former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 7 years in jail, after convicting him in the Al-Azizia corruption reference case. The ex-premier would be shortly sent to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where his prison-term would begin from today.
The bench headed by Accountability Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik had on December 19 reserved its verdict in two corruption cases involving Sharif - the Al-Azizia Still Mills corruption reference and the Flagship Investments reference. While he was convicted in the former, the court acquitted him in the latter on grounds of insufficient evidence. Pakistan Witnesses Nawaz Sharif's Fall, Imran Khan's Rise in 2018; Hopes to Improve Ties with India in 2019.
The judgement was earlier scheduled to be delivered between 9am to 10am today. Amid vociferous protests by PML-N cadres outside the court complex, the bench decided to delay the verdict till 3pm.
Apart from awarding a 7-year prison term to Sharif, the court also slapped a fine of $2.5 million on the former PM. He has been asked to deposit the same before the NAB within a 30-day period.
In July this year, Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt Safdar, were convicted in the Avenfield reference case. The sentence against the trio, however, was scrapped by a higher court in September.
Thye corruption cases against Sharif surfaced in 2016, when he, along with his family members, was named in the Panama Papers -- an investigative report published by the International Consortium of Journalists (ICJ).
The embattled former premier was forced to vacate Office in July last year, after an NAB court charged him with hiding his source of incomes in the election affidavit.