Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif gets ten years for corruption

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News

The Accountability Court sentenced former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years of imprisonment on Friday in one of the three corruption cases. Addressing a news conference in London, where his wife Kulsoom Nawaz is being treated for cancer and is now in a coma, Sharif did not give a time-frame for his return.

"I am coming back to Pakistan but will continue my struggle even if I have to go to jail", said Nawaz Sharif.

In compliance to the Supreme Court order of July 28, 2017, which ousted the three-time prime minister, declaring him "dishonest" under Article 62 (1) (f) of Pakistan's constitution, three corruption references were filed by Pakistan's National Accountability Court (NAB) in September against the Sharifs and a fourth against their relative, ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar. He denies drawing the monthly salary.

Hours before the verdict, Maryam's husband Safdar referred to it as a "funeral" for justice, the PML-N media office said in a statement.

Throughout the case, they and their political supporters have cast the allegations as part of a campaign to discredit the former premier - allegedly led by Pakistan's army, which has made little secret of its dislike for Sharif. "The decision is flawed, politically motivated & has glaring loopholes", Shehbaz Sharif said in a series of tweets.

"It is to be seen if this decision is written by a judge or a general", Safdar said.

He has framed the charges against him as a conspiracy by the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for roughly half its 70-year history. However, after being disqualified from contesting due to her conviction in the Avenfield reference case, the covering candidates of PML-N will vie for the seats.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which spearheaded a campaign against Nawaz Sharif following the Panama leaks, praised the verdict.

Khan is running on a socially conservative, anti-corruption platform. The companies are owned by Mr. Sharif's son Hussain Nawaz.

Khan is also hoping to become the country's next prime minister.

Awan and others say the military is attempting to stifle Sharif and his party before the country's general elections scheduled for the end of the month. Imran Khan backs down from lockdown threat.

Accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir announced the verdict after several delays since morning.

Soon after the verdict, Maryam, considered to be Sharif's heir apparent, took to Twitter to share this message: "This is a very small punishment for firmly standing in front of unseen forces".

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