Nawaz Sharif acquitted in Avenfield reference by IHC, bringing major relief – Pakistan

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The decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday acquitted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield reference, has come as a relief for the PML-N. A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb announced the verdict on Nawaz’s appeal against his conviction in the case. In July 2018, an accountability court had sentenced the PML-N leader to 10 years in jail in the Avenfield properties corruption reference for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The IHC had declared him a proclaimed offender in the case in December 2020, and he had been in London for nearly four years on medical grounds before returning to the country last month. Following his return, the PML-N leader filed an application seeking restoration of his appeal against his conviction. Last month, the IHC restored the appeal and today, the court set aside the accountability court’s verdict and accepted Nawaz’s appeal. After the hearing, the PML-N supremo thanked God and expressed gratitude for the victory. Maryam Nawaz also took to X (formerly Twitter) to express similar sentiments, saying that today’s verdict showed how God vindicated those who put their trust in him. During the hearing, Nawaz’s lawyers contended that the prosecution had failed to prove the accused’s connection to the properties, and presented date-wise details of the assets and argued that there was no evidence linking them to Nawaz. The court ultimately ruled in favor of Nawaz and set aside the accountability court’s verdict. This decision comes as a major development in Nawaz’s ongoing legal battles, bringing much relief to the PML-N.

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