Sharif moves SC again for early hearing of bail plea

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved the Supreme Court once again on Monday seeking an early hearing of his petition against a decision by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejecting his bail plea on medical grounds in a corruption case.

Sharif was on December 24, 2018, sentenced to seven years in prison by an anti-corruption court in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case for owning a steel factory abroad without disclosing its ownership.

The former Prime Minister’s counsel filed the petition a week after the top court’s registrar office rejected the initial plea for early hearing of his appeal, Dawn online reported.

In another petition filed on Monday on Sharif’s behalf, the court was requested to fix the hearing in the ongoing week as Sharif’s health had deteriorated, the report said.

The IHC in its February 25 order had dismissed the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader’s plea seeking bail and suspension of his sentence on medical grounds.

It said that none of the medical reports about Sharif’s condition suggested that his continued incarceration would in any way be detrimental to his life, adding he had been hospitalized time and again since January whenever he made complaints about his indisposition.

The anti-corruption court judge had last year imposed hefty fines on Sharif after ruling that Al-Azizia Steel Mills — a Saudi Arabian firm carrying the name of his son — belonged to the three-time Premier and that he was unable to demonstrate how the project was funded.