Saqib didn’t want Nawaz, Maryam out on bail before 2018 elections: ex-judge

Former chief justice Saqib Nisar did not want former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to be freed on bail ahead of the general elections in July 2018, claimed an ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan in a notarised affidavit.

The two were convicted in Avenfield House apartments reference before the elections scheduled on July 25. When their counsels moved the higher court for suspension of the conviction, the case was adjourned until the last week of July.

Rana Muhammad Shamim, the former chief judge of the supreme appellate court of Gilgit-Baltistan, said: “Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif must remain in jail until the general elections are over. On assurances from the other side, he [Nisar] became calm and happily demanded another cup of tea.”

He said the directions were given to a judge of another court who was not named in the affidavit.

The News reported Mr Shamim gave his statement under oath before the oath commissioner on November 10. The affidavit contained his signature and an image of his computerised national identity card (CNIC).

Per the article, Mr Nisar has categorically denied the allegations and stated that he never issued any direction to any of his subordinates regarding judicial proceedings related to Mr Sharif or anyone else.

Mr Shamim said he was witness to the incident that happened at the guest house of Gilgit-Baltistan court when Mr Nisar came on a vacation with his family members.

He added when he asked the former chief justice why he conveyed such a message to the other judge, the now-retired top judge responded by saying: “Rana sahib! you won’t understand. You must treat it as if you never heard anything.”

When he further said that Mr Sharif had been falsely implicated, Mr Nisar said: “The chemistry of Punjab is different from [that of] Gilgit-Baltistan.”

AVENFIELD CASE JUDGEMENT:

In July 2018, an accountability court ruled that Mr Sharif and his family laundered money in the 1990s to pay for four luxury apartments in Park Lane, central London, drawing on allegations that resurfaced in the 2016 Panama Papers.

Accountability Court judge Mohammad Bashir sentenced Ms Nawaz to seven years’ imprisonment, fined the family £10m and ordered the seizure of the Avenfield properties. She also received an additional one-year sentence for presenting forged documents in court.

The family has long struggled to explain how the Avenfield flats came into their possession. Family members initially told different stories. During the National Accountability Bureau trial, Mr Sharif’s defence claimed that a Qatar investment fund gave the expensive properties to the family to repay a debt owed to Mr Sharif’s father, Mian Muhammad Sharif.

Commentators in 2017 mocked a letter from a Qatar prince apparently testifying to that deal as a rabbit pulled out of a hat.

Mr Sharif and members of his family have denied any wrongdoing, and supporters claim the charges against them are politically motivated.

In October, Ms Nawaz approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to annul the verdict against her in the reference, claiming the entire proceedings in the reference were a “classic example of outright violations of law and political engineering hitherto unheard of in the history of Pakistan”.

The post Saqib didn’t want Nawaz, Maryam out on bail before 2018 elections: ex-judge appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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