Plea seeking Nawaz Sharif’s release rejected

Pakistan: A Pakistan court on Monday rejected a petition seeking the release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on bail on medical grounds.

The Islamabad High Court bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced the nine-page short order, saying bail could not be given on medical grounds, reports Dawn news.

Sharif was shifted from Kot Lakhpat Jail, where he is serving his sentence, to the Jinnah Hospital 10 days back.

Speaking to the media, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi deemed the verdict “disappointing”.

“We have always respected court orders; we respect this one as well. Will take all legal routes that are available (to challenge),” said Abbasi.

“The treatment required (for Sharif) cannot be provided in jail; it is important that he is released.”

Accountability court Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik had on December 24, 2018, convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills Company (ASCL) and Hill Metal Establishment (HME) reference, and awarded him seven years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1.5 billion and $25 million.

Last week, the bench reserved the decision on the petition seeking the suspension of the seven-year sentence awarded to Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.

The former leader has challenged his conviction in the IHC, claiming that the accountability court’s verdict is flawed and marred.