Islamabad, July 17: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. The court, while hearing the petition filed by Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris, said the ex-premier and Maryam have been convicted under serious charges of graft which does not qualify them to get interim bail.
Although the bail application has been rejected, the bench is yet to decide on other aspects of the petition, which include the transferring of the corruption cases pending against the Sharif family from Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court to another judge.
The petition has also sought an open trial for the two remaining cases against Sharif, his daughter and sons. The caretaker government had announced that Sharif and Maryam would be tried inside the Adiala jail -- a norm usually maintained for terror accused inmates.
While Nawaz and Maryam have been convicted by Pakistan's Accountability Court in the Avenfield reference, the duo are yet to face the trials in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship references.
The first conviction of Sharifs came on July 6, when the Accountability court found him guilty of not disclosing the details of income used by him to purchase four luxury residences in London's Avenfield. While Sharif was awarded ten years of rigorous imprisonment, Maryam was sentenced to seven. Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar, the husband of Maryam, was awarded one-year prison term.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has accused the "higher powers" - a reference to the ISI and military - of conspiring against Sharif to oust him from power. "There is a grand conspiracy to boot the PML-N out of power. But the people of Pakistan will defeat the conspirators on July 25," said Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz and chief of the PML-N.