SC dismisses NAB’s appeal against Sharif family’s suspended sentences in Avenfield case

The Supreme Court has dismissed NAB’s appeal against the suspension of the Sharif family’s sentences in the Avenfield reference.

During a hearing on Monday, a larger bench dismissed NAB’s request because it failed to provide the grounds for the cancellation of the suspension.

A larger bench, comprising Chief Jusitce Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa (who will be taking oath as the country’s chief justice soon), Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, heard the case.

NAB prosecutor Akram Qureshi was repeatedly asked why NAB was challenging the sentence suspension. Do you need Nawaz for interrogation, asked the judges.

Justice Khosa asked whether there was an issue with Nawaz doing something wrong while out on bail. The NAB prosecutor could not reply to these questions.

The court also asked whether there were any roadblocks in NAB’s investigation by Nawaz’s bail. The Islamabad High Court’s verdict was given on merit, said the judges, adding that the SC will not be commenting on it.

Related: Jail authorities finally allow medical checkup for Nawaz

NAB was unable to answer the judges queries about on what grounds the bail should be cancelled. It failed to convince the court.

He’s not a free man, remarked Justice Khosa, asking why NAB was challenging the sentence suspension of a man who is already incarcerated. The court upheld the Islamabad High Court’ decision.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in the case, while his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain Safdar were sentenced to seven and one year respectively. Their sentences were suspended until their appeal against the verdict is heard.

On July 6, accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir sentenced the Sharif family to jail in the Avenfield case. They challenged the verdict in the Islamabad High Court and a two-member bench suspended their sentences until the final verdict in the appeal is announced.

Nawaz is currently serving his sentence in the Al Azizia case at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. He was sentenced to seven years in jail and a $25 million fine. His lawyers have filed an appeal to get that sentence suspended as well because the final verdict in another appeal filed before the accountability court sentenced him in the case has not been decided yet.