In a major development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has acquitted PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield reference.
According to the details, a two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, presided over today’s hearing. Maryam Nawaz had filed an appeal against her seven years imprisonment sentence in the case. The IHC had reserved its verdict and during its hearing, today, announced to nullify the sentence awarded to Maryam Nawaz by an accountability court.
Justice Farooq said no document had been presented so far that could be linked to the properties of Maryam and Nawaz Sharif. Meanwhile, Justice Kayani observed that on the basis of documents, NAB had prepared the entire case against Maryam, adding that property being in a daughter’s name did not necessarily mean that it was owned by the father.
The IHC bench also asked the NAB Special Prosecutor, Usman Cheema, to prove through evidence that these properties were acquired by Nawaz Sharif in the 1990s.
He further said that if the NAB could not prove the case against the principle accused Nawaz Sharif then there would be no significance of the charges of aiding and abetting.
In 2018, NAB ousted Nawaz Sharif for owning properties beyond his known income and one year for not cooperating with NAB. As per the sentence, Nawaz Sharif will serve 10 years in jail.
Maryam Nawaz on the other hand was given seven years for abetment. She was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau. Captain Safdar was awarded one year’s jail term.
Maryam Nawaz thankful for the verdict
Reacting to her acquittal, Maryam Nawaz while talking to the media, said she was thankful to Allah for making Nawaz and her proud today. She also thanked her legal team for fighting her case throughout the years.
اللہ تعالیٰ کا شکر ہے اللہ تعالیٰ نے آپکو آج سرخرو کیا اور آپکے مخالفین کو ناکام و نامراد کیا ہے…
مریم نواز کی اپنے والد میاں محمد نواز شریف سے بریت کے بعد گفتگو pic.twitter.com/ehKj5FMCbH
— PMLN (@pmln_org) September 29, 2022
Separately, PM Shehbaz said the “edifice of lies, slander and character assassination” had come crumbling down.
“Maryam’s acquittal in the Avenfield reference is a slap in the face of so-called accountability system that was employed to target the Sharif family. My congratulations to Maryam beti and Safdar,” he said.
The edifice of lies, slander & character assassination has come crumbling down today. Maryam Nawaz's acquittal in the Avenfield Reference is a slap in the face of so-called accountability system that was employed to target Sharif family. My congratulations to Maryam Beti & Safdar
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 29, 2022