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Pakistani Court Refuses Bail of Former Prime Minister

ISLAMABAD – A high court in Pakistan on Monday rejected the application for release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case, AFP reported Monday.
A court composed of two members of the Islamabad High Court announced the verdict of Sharif’s petition demanding the suspension of the seven-year prison term and the release on bail for medical reasons.
Sharif, who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in the north-eastern city of Lahore, was hospitalized on the recommendation of the medical commission in mid-February, suffering from diabetes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease.
A large number of Sharif supporters, gathered in court, and chanted slogans against the government.
“The verdict is disappointing, but we respect the courts and we will appeal this decision,” Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister and senior official of the Pakistan Muslim League-Sharif Sharif party, told the press in court.
Last December, a local liability court in Islamabad sentenced Sharif, (who is 69 years old) to seven years’ imprisonment for corruption.
He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison in another corruption case last May, but the Islamabad High Court suspended the sentence.
His daughter and political heir, Maryam Nawaz, and his son-in-law were also sentenced to seven years and one year of imprisonment in the same case, respectively, but are free on bail.
In September 2017, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an anti-corruption watchdog, accused Sharif of hiding assets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on behalf of his then-minor sons in his first two terms as prime minister in the early 1990s.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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