Sharif challenges Al-Azizia verdict in IHC

Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday filed a second appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), challenging the verdict of Al-Azizia steel mills reference. On Jan 2, the registrar office of IHC returned Sharif’s petition filed on Jan 1, declaring it as incomplete. It directed to file the appeal again after addressing the aforementioned reservation. In his plea, Sharif requested IHC to set aside his conviction in the graft case filed against him and members of his family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in pursuance of the Supreme Court verdict on July 28. He also requested for the suspension of his sentence until the IHC gives a decision on his appeal. A separate petition was also filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo pleading to release him on bail. On Dec 24, an accountability court handed seven years’ imprisonment to the three-time prime minister and imposed a fine of $25 million and Rs 1.5 billion as penalties in the Al-Azizia reference. On January 2, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed an appeal in IHC, pleading to extend the seven-year jail term awarded to Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference. The anti-graft watchdog challenged the acquittal of Sharif in the Flagship Investment references.