Pakistan′s ex-PM Nawaz Sharif challenges jail sentence | News | DW | 16.07.2018
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Pakistan's ex-PM Nawaz Sharif challenges jail sentence

Lawyers for Pakistan's jailed former premier say he is appealing his 10-year jail term on corruption charges. Nawaz Sharif was locked upon returning to the country last week ahead of hotly contested general elections.

The legal team representing ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lodged an appeal with the Islamabad High Court on Monday.

"The conviction and sentence are based on no evidence," Sharif's lawyer, Khawaja Haris Ahmad, said.

Pakistani authorities detained the disgraced premier and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, Friday on corruption charges, minutes after they returned to Pakistan from London.

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An anti-graft court ruled on July 6 that the family bought luxury apartments in the UK with funds from Pakistan in the 1990s.

Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison and fined 8 million ($10.5 million pounds; €8.9 million), his daughter was handed an 8-year term and ordered to pay 2 million pounds, while his son-in-law, Muhammad Safdar, was given a one-year prison sentence.

Chance for appeal

Sharif's legal team said they expected the court to start hearing the appeal from Tuesday. If a judge lets the challenge go ahead, the three-time prime minister could be released on bail, pending his retrial.

The appeal comes ahead of hotly contested general elections scheduled for July 25. Sharif, who was ousted from office over corruption last July, cannot run, but his Muslim League Party is still angling to win a majority in parliament. However, it faces strong competition from the Tehrik-e-Insaf party of leading opposition candidate and former cricketer Imran Khan.

The lead-up to the vote has been marred by violence, with more than 150 people killed in recent attacks. 

nm/kms (AP, dpa)

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