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Avenfield Verdict Would be Written in Black, Says Shahbaz Sharif

Hours after the accountability court pronounced the Avenfield reference case verdict, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif opined that the ruling would be “written in black” in history.

“PML-N rejects Accountability Court’s verdict against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar. In the history, this judgment would be written in black,” News International quoted him, as saying.

Shahbaz claimed that there were “several legal errors” in the verdict, adding that they would challenge the ruling at the court soon.

“We will take all legal and constitutional routes to fight for justice. Nawaz Sharif has always fought bravely,” he noted.

The PML-N President further said that all party candidates contesting the July 25 general elections will “highlight the injustice done and the disappointment in the decision.”

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of eight million pounds on Friday in one of three corruption cases, while his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of two million pounds.

Maryam’s husband Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar was also sentenced to one year of imprisonment.

The verdict in the Avenfield reference case was read out by accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir after postponing the announcement four times in a day.

Explaining the delay, the judge said that an appropriate number of photocopies of the judgment was to be made to the relevant parties.

The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s critical health.

But the court dismissed the plea.

Sharif and Maryam are currently in London visiting Kulsoom, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.

On June 14, both Sharif and his daughter left for the United Kingdom after they were granted a brief exemption from the ongoing trial.

Sharif and his family are facing trial in three corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which are Avenfield properties, Gulf Steel Mills and Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

The trial had commenced on September 14 last year.

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