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Pakistan

Avenfield reference: IHC overrules registrar's objections over Maryam's acquittal plea

  • In her plea, Maryam maintained that the country’s premier intelligence agency’s chief played a role in convictions in the Avenfield case
Published October 6, 2021

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has overruled the registrar's office objections on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s application in the Avenfield Apartments acquittal plea, it was reported on Wednesday.

A division bench of the IHC, led by Justice Amir Farooq, heard the application.

In her plea, Maryam maintained that the country’s premier intelligence agency’s chief played a role in convictions in the Avenfield case.

Maryam’s counsel, Irfan Qadir, appeared before the bench and rejected the impression that the PML-N leader was against the armed forces.

Avenfield Apartment reference: Maryam's counsel moves IHC for adjournment

“I want to clarify that our armed forces and the Inter-Services Intelligence are the best in the world. Similarly, our judges are great too, except in a few political matters,” the counsel maintained.

He added that they were not against individuals "but certain mindsets that silence democracy in Pakistan". Qadir stated that they moved the application to bring forth certain facts that happened after the conviction in the Avenfield case.

The bench noted that the IHC registrar's office had raised two objections that are being overruled.

Maryam levels serious allegations

Addressing media persons after the case hearing outside the IHC, Maryam leveled serious allegations against a top-ranking army official, saying that he was behind the Avenfield Apartments case in London against her and Nawaz Sharif.

On the occasion, she also shared details of the application she had filed with the court. The application includes documentation of a speech by former IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on July 21, 2018.

“I have written in my application that this proves that my case is politically engineered,” she said. She mentioned that the army official not only made the case, but he also ran it and had us convicted through the court of Judge Bashir.

NAB chief’s extension

To a question about the government's move to extend the NAB chairman's tenure, the PML-N leader said that continuing with the same person means that there is mala fide intention. “Giving him an extension is illegal.”

Maryam said that if an extension is granted, it will hopefully be declared illegal in the court of law.

Case history

On October 5, Maryam filed a new application before the IHC seeking annulment of the verdict of her conviction in the Avenfield Apartment reference.

Maryam moves IHC for annulment of Avenfield case verdict

The PML-N leader prayed that she may graciously be "acquitted of all charges and the order of conviction of Accountability Court may kindly be set at naught."

However, the IHC registrar's office raised two objections over her miscellaneous plea seeking acquittal in the Avenfield Apartments case. The registrar said that Maryam's application contains the same request as it was made in her main petition. The office further observed that the accused can only provide fresh grounds in the plea after permission from the court.

On July 6, 2018, Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Captain (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield Apartment reference and awarded them prison terms of 10 years, seven years, and one year, respectively.

The court had later suspended their respective sentences.

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