Islamabad, October 7: A Pakistani court on Monday adjourned for two weeks the hearing of a petition filed by jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his sentence in a corruption case.
Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case - one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in the Panama Papers scandal. He later filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his conviction. Pakistan: Shehbaz Sharif Meets Brother Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
The court began hearing the petition last month. A two-member bench conducted the hearing on Monday during which a miscellaneous plea seeking relief in Judge Arshad Malik's video scandal was also heard.
During the hearing, Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris urged the court to establish facts of the case before proceeding any further. He said that it was important to decide if the court conducted a fair trial.
The court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and adjourned the hearing for two weeks. Sharif had also made the NAB chairman and the Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent as parties in the plea. He had urged the court to suspend his sentence and acquit him.
He was convicted by Judge Malik who acquitted him in another case called the Flagship Investments. However, the NAB challenged Sharif's acquittal in the Islamabad High Court.
Sharif's conviction took an ugly twist when a video of Judge Malik surfaced in which he confessed that he convicted the three-time premier under immense pressure from certain elements.
Malik was removed after Sharif's daughter Maryam released the video.
Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing and allege that the corruption cases against them were politically motivated.
He was removed as prime minister following a judgement by the Supreme Court on July 28, 2017. The top court also ordered to launch three cases of corruption against Sharif and his family.
Sharif along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar was convicted in the Avenfiled case last year but the sentence was later suspended by the IHC. The case was related to the ownership of the Sharif family's apartments at Avenfield House, London.
He was, however, convicted in the Al-Azizia steel mill case for owning assets beyond means. Sharif's family and lawyer insist that the former premier should be set free as the judgment was tainted and the judge who delivered the verdict was also removed.