Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif to Stay in Prison During Election

Published: 17 July 2018

Nawaz SharifNawaz Sharif

By By Haroon Janjua

A Pakistani court rejected on Tuesday appeals made by ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and his son-in-law to be released on bail and their convictions be suspended, Arab News reported.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested on Friday at the Lahore airport upon their return from London. An anti-corruption court sentenced him to 10 years in prison over a corruption scandal prompted by the Panama Papers and centered around several luxury London apartments.

Maryam Nawaz was sentenced to seven years, and Sharif’s son-in-law, Captain Safdar Awan, who was arrested separately, was given one year in the same corruption case.

The verdicts say that Sharif and his family laundered billions in the 1990s and that with some of the money they bought luxury Park Lane apartments in London.

Hours before Sharif and his daughter were to land on Friday, police in the eastern city of Lahore cracked down on hundreds of members of his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-N.

Police also blocked the roads in the city in order to prevent his supporters from reaching the airport and welcome their leader.

Sharif’s next hearing in front of the appeals chamber is scheduled for the end of July which means he will remain in jail during the country’s general election on July 25.

Meanwhile, police have opened criminal cases against almost 17,000 members of Sharif’s party over breaking election rules, according to Reuters.

Sharif has repeatedly accused Pakistan's powerful military for his removal from power and politics.