ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected the pleas filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against conviction in Al-Aziza and Avenfield corruption cases by an accountability court in Islamabad.
The verdict was announced by a two-member bench of the high court comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Aamer Farooq.
In 2018, Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar were released by the high court on bail. Maryam and Safdar’s case is being heard separately.
According to the verdict: “…Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was provided a fair trial inasmuch as learned trial court provided him opportunity of hearing as well as cross-examining the prosecution witnesses and only after the proper trial, his conviction was recorded; he despite being on bail, proceeded abroad and did not appear before this Court and without any justification or basis, remained absent on a number of dates of hearing hence this Court was left with no option but to follow the procedure as provided in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and declare him as fugitive from law.”
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The court said the former premier, who has been in London for almost a year now, has “lost his right of audience before this court and we are left with no choice except to dismiss his appeal”.
It said that Nawaz “may file an application before this Court, as and when he surrenders or is captured by the authorities, for decision of the appeal on merits. Needless to observe that the said application, if and when is made, shall be decided in accordance with law”.