IHC Acquits Maryam Nawaz, Her Husband Safdar In Avenfield Case


IHC acquits Maryam Nawaz, her husband Safdar in Avenfield case

The court has nullified the conviction handed to them in 2018 by an accountability court.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Sept 29th, 2022) The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday acquitted Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield reference.

The IHC nullified the conviction handed to them in 2018 by an accountability court.

An accountability court before the 2018 General Elections imposed Maryam with a fine of £2 million and sentenced her to seven years for being “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau — sentences which were due to run concurrently.

PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in jail for possessing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income, while Maryam's husband captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar was handed down two-year rigorous imprisonment.

In August 2019, Maryam was arrested in the case — while she was visiting her father in prison. Later, a local court granted bail in November 2019.

Earlier, during the proceedings, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said that the affidavit by Tariq Shafi was put on record, which mentioned the sale of the Gulf Steel Mills.

Abbasi said that the SC raised a clear objection on how the steel mills were established as Shafi failed to prove that he was a partner in the business.

At this, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani said that the investigation officer's opinion cannot be taken as evidence.

Justice Kayani observed that the JIT didn't state any facts, but provided only the gathered information.

Justice Farooq asked how all this proves the allegation against the petitioners.

The judge observed, "establish the link of Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif with the case of assets beyond means,".

The judge also observed that they could not

announce a verdict on the basis of public knowledge of some hearsay.

Later, Maryam said she was thankful to Allah for making Nawaz and her proud today.

She said, "This is how lies come to end," Maryam said, as she thanked her legal team for fighting her case throughout the years. While she was addressing the journalists, she received a call from her "uncle" as well.

Maryam said no political leader in the history of the country has been through such stringent accountability as Nawaz. "He now has more respect than ever [after my acquittal]."

The PML-N vice president said despite Nawaz getting advisories to not face hearings in the Avenfield reference, not only he, but his children also faced trial.

Moving on, Maryam asked PTI Chairman Imran Khan what would he do now as he has been proven "a liar" and "a conspirator", while Nawaz has come out on top.

Maryam told Khan that he is a "helpless" person now and whether or not he decides to answer for his deeds, history will ensure that you answer for it.

In response to a question that the case was registered against her before PTI came into power and that some other powers were behind it, Maryam said: "Who was the beneficiary of all this? Had Nawaz remained here, then even in three lifetimes, Imran could not have come into power."

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.