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Avenfield verdict: Islamabad HC to hear Sharif family's pleas

Islamabad : The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday was expected to take up the appeals filed by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar against their convictions in connection to the Avenfield properties case.
A two-judge division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kyani was expected to hear the appeals of the trio at around 11:00 am (local time).
Earlier on Monday, the legal counsels of the Sharif family, who are currently serving their respective prison terms at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi filed three appeals.
Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris filed a plea challenging the verdict of the Avenfield case and called for its suspension till the Islamabad High Court adjudication in the case. Maryam and Safdar's counsel Amjad Pervaiz also filed the appeals on behalf of them.
Separately, an additional plea was filed asking the court to transfer the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references lodged against Sharif from the court of Accountability Judge-I Mohammad Bashir to another accountability court.
The three pleas filed by the counsels highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgment, and also requested the accountability court to declare the verdict against the Sharif family as "null and void." Furthermore, the court was appealed to release Sharif, Maryam and Safdar on bail respectively.
Sharif and Maryam were convicted in absentia in the Avenfield reference case by the Accountability Court. While the former was given ten years of imprisonment and slapped with a fine of eight million pounds, Maryam was awarded eight years in jail and fined two million pounds.
Also, Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.
On Friday, Pakistan's Ministry of Law and Justice in a notification said that the legal proceedings of the remaining two National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference cases (Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia) against Sharif and his family will take place in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
While Sharif and his UK-based sons, Hussain and Hasan are named in all the three corruption cases - Avenfield reference, Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia reference, Maryam and Safdar are only named in the Avenfield case. 

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