IHC declare Nawaz proclaimed offender in Al-Azizia, Avenfield references

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday decided to declare former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a proclaimed offender in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield references.

Justice Aamer Farooq said the court will pass a short order regarding the proclamation of the convicted former premier and will also issue show-cause notices to the sureties.

Nawaz, who was convicted over corruption by the accountability court, had flown to London in November 2019, after the federal government gave him rare permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

During today’s proceedings, the court recorded the statements of three witnesses and completed proceedings regarding the proclamation process.

An IHC bench on September 15 issued the former premier’s non-bailable arrest warrants after he failed to appear before the bench for hearing of his appeals against his conviction in Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases.

Later, the bench started the process of declaring the PML-N supreme leader an absconder and ordered authorities to publish advertisements — or proclamations — in London-based newspapers, summoning Nawaz on November 24.

The IHC had noted that if Nawaz did not appear in the court within 30 days after publication of the ads, he would be declared an absconder. It had also ordered the authorities concerned to paste the notice outside his London and Lahore residences.

Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar were released from Adiala jail on September 19, 2018 after the IHC suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference.

Only July 6, 2018, the accountability court had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the NAB, handing the ousted prime minister 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and 1 year for not cooperating with anti-graft buster.

His daughter was given 7 years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and 1 year for non-cooperation with the bureau.

Sharif’s son-in-law was given 1 year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Sharif and Maryam.

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