The High Court of Islamabad on Wednesday suspended the sentences of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar. All three, who are currently lodged in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, will now walk free.

According to Samaa TV, the High Court was hearing a plea by Sharif family challenging an accountability court verdict which found them guilty of corruption. Their release is subject to a surety of Pakistani Rupees 5 lakh each.

Sharif and others were jailed in connection with a corruption scam involving his family’s ownership of upscale Avenfield flats in London.

The accountability court had convicted Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in the case in 6 July. While Sharif was given a 10-year-sentence, Maryam was awarded a seven-year jail term and her husband got a one year sentence.

A division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petitions of the convicted Sharif family members.

According to Dawn, the judges said that suspension of jail term will remain in force till the final verdict on their appeals.

Quoting Justice Athar Minallah, Dawn reported that “the NAB, after conducting thorough investigation, couldn’t bring any evidence of Nawaz Sharif’s ownership of the Avenfield apartments, but you want us to admit his ownership on mere presumption.”

The High Court’s verdict was welcomed by PML-N leadership and supporters.

Shehbaz Sharif, the brother of Nawaz Sharif, took to Twitter to share a verse from Surah Al-Isra [17:81]: “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.”

 

Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal termed the verdict historic and moral victory of his party’s leaders.

“This trial is important in a way that even a blind could see that the case against Nawaz Sharif was pre-poll rigging and full of revenge. There was neither law nor order. The purpose was to push Sharif outside of election contention in favour of Imran Khan,” Iqbal told reporters in Pakistan.

Maryam and Nawaz were arrested upon their arrival in Pakistan from London on 13 July. Three days later, they filed appeals challenging their convictions.