Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 7 years in prison

Islamabad: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to seven years in prison by an accountability court in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.

Monday’s sentence in the money laundering and tax evasion case came a day ahead of Sharif’s 69th birthday.

Dawn reported that the Sharif has also been charged with a fine of USD 2.5 million in the case. However, the bench, headed by Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik, acquitted him in the Flagship Investments reference.

The Judge, had earlier turned down Sharif’s request for more time in the two cases, as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had stated that granting more time could further delay verdict in the graft cases.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Supreme Court had asked the accountability court to wrap up the corruption cases by December 24, after previously granting it seven extensions to conclude the NAB references.

The trial against the Sharif family had started on September 14 last year. They are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

In July, Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were convicted in absentia in the Avenfield case by the accountability court. Apart from jail sentences, fines of eight million pounds and two million pounds were slapped on the father-daughter duo, respectively.

Sharif’s son-in-law, Captain (retd.) Muhammad Safdar was also given a one-year sentence but was exempted from paying fine. However, the trio was released in September by the Islamabad High Court owing to lack of evidence.