In a major relief for its supporters, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday acquitted Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield reference.
A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb announced the verdict.
Earlier, the IHC had adjourned Nawaz’s appeals against his convictions in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption cases till today.
Speaking to media after today’s hearing, Nawaz said, “I thank God as I had left the entire matters on him. God has made us victorious today.”
In 2018, Nawaz was sentenced to 10 and seven years in prison in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia references, respectively.
The three-time former prime minister was declared a proclaimed offender by the IHC over non-compliance after he went to London for medical treatment with the court’s permission in November 2019.
On October 23, the former prime minister, upon his arrival to Pakistan after four years, moved the IHC to revive appeals against his convictions.
The pleas said that IHC dismissed Nawaz’s appeals for non-compliance in June 2021 due to his prolonged stay in London, arguing that the PML-N supremo never took advantage of the bail granted to him in all the cases.
IHC last month restored Pakistan PML-N supremo’s appeals against his conviction verdicts in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases.
During the hearing then, NAB Prosecutor General Ehtesham Qadir Shah stated that the court had directed the watchdog’s chairman to provide an opinion on the bail pleas. He informed the court, “We had an extensive discussion regarding the petitions.”