Islamabad court orders release of Maryam and Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif

Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

The PML-N leaders, the party founded by the three-time prime minister Sharif, whooped and cheered at the court's decision. Jubilant workers have been chanting slogans and showering the ex-premier's vehicle with rose petals.

Both Nawaz and Maryam were arrested upon their arrival in Pakistan from London on July 13 and filed appeals challenging their convictions in the case on July 16 in the Islamabad High Court.

Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz to be released, Islamabad HC suspends jail sentences

The development is the latest twist in a series of court cases involving the former prime minister, beginning with his ouster from office previous year in the Panama Papers verdict to facing multiple corruption references in the accountability court. Sharif's party and others allege the July 25 polls were rigged to favor Khan, who is seen to be close to the army.

Sharif, 68, Maryam, 44, and Safdar, 54, were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield properties case.

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Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law were released on a bail for the burial at Lahore.

The Sharifs' convictions are still under appeal with the same Islamabad High Court, but a judge on Wednesday ruled they should be freed immediately while the case continues. An accountability court had found them guilty over his family's ownership of four luxury flats in London. They deny all wrongdoing. The trio were briefly allowed out of the high-security Adiala Jail on parole to attend her funeral. "Allah will grant justice to me", he said.

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Leader of the Opposition and Nawaz's younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, following the verdict took to Twitter to share a verse from Surah Al-Isra [17:81]: "Truth has come, and falsehood has departed". Sharif faced two more cases before the anti-graft tribunal and has been banned for life from public office. He won an election in 1997, only to be ousted and exiled after a military coup in 1999.

Khan is making his first official overseas trip to Saudi Arabia, the country that gave Sharif shelter after the 1999 coup, where he is reportedly seeking financial help to stave off the likelihood of another International Monetary Fund bailout.

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