IHC to hear Nawaz’s appeal against Al Azizia conviction today

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear on Wednesday an appeal filed by incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in the Al Azizia corruption reference.

Last year, Sharif was handed a seven-year prison sentence by an accountability court. The court had also fined Sharif Rs1.5 billion and US $25 million in the Al-Azizia reference. The former premier is currently in Kot Lakhpat jail.

The reference pertains to the Sharif family being unable to justify the source of the funds provided to set up Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment (HME) in Saudi Arabia, making this a case of owning assets beyond means.

The high court will also hear an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Sharif’s acquittal in the Flagship corruption reference. He was acquitted by the same court that convicted him in the Al Azizia court.

Both judgements were authored by accountability judge Arshad Malik, who was recently removed from his position over the video leak scandal. Earlier this year, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz had released a video clip in which Malik allegedly confessed that he had been “blackmailed” into convicting Sharif. Maryam, who is currently in Adiala jail, had called for an overturning of Sharif’s conviction.

Malik was removed from his position after the video was released and has been repatriated to the Lahore High Court where disciplinary proceedings against him will be held.

More to follow.

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