IHC adjourns Sharif bail case hearing

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday adjourned the bail petition filed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference case on the basis of medical grounds till February 12. Medical reports of former premier were presented in the court and IHC directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit its reply regarding the case. The petition had sought bail and suspension of Sharif’s sentence with a reasoning that he has been suffering from heart and kidney problems along with hypertension. On January 28, the IHC had adjourned the hearing till February 6. Subsequently, the court issued notice to NAB and directed the jail superintendent to submit all medical reports of Sharif on the next hearing. The accountability court on December 24 convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison, and acquitted him in the Flagship reference case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Mega corruption scandal. In the 131-page judgment written by the accountability court judge Arshad Malik, reasons of his conviction were mentioned. It said that the prosecution had successfully established all the ingredients of the offence of corruption committed by Sharif, and that he had failed to provide legal money trail of his assets. Later, Sharif was arrested from the premises of the accountability court. After spending a night at the Adiyala Jail in Rawalpindi, he was shifted to the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. Earlier, the NAB had filed three cases – Avenfield, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Limited – against the Sharifs on the Supreme Court’s directives in the July 2017 Panamagate verdict. The trial commenced later in September that year.