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Former Pakistan PM Sentenced To 10 Years In Corruption Case


FILE: Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League.
FILE: Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League.

A Pakistani anticorruption court has sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison over the purchase of upscale London apartments, prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbas said.

Abbas also said that the court had ordered the properties be confiscated.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court handed down the verdict on July 6 after a series of delays.

Sharif, who is in London tending to his critically ill wife, is expected to appeal. He had requested the court delay the verdict until he returned to Pakistan from London.

Sharif, 67, was removed as prime minister and disqualified from politics for life by the Supreme Court in 2017 over undeclared assets.

His daughter Maryam, who is running for parliament and is widely seen as his political heir, was sentenced to a seven-year term, Pakistani media reported.

Sharif's son-in-law, Safdar Awan, was given a one-year sentence.

Sharif has previously described the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witch hunt.

The Sharif family say they legitimately bought the properties. But the National Accountability Bureau has said the family has been unable to explain how it paid for them.

Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League, rejected the ruling as an injustice to the former leader.

"We will use all legal and constitutional options against today's court rulings," said Shahbaz Sharif, the party chief, appealing to supporters to exercise restraint and vote for their candidates in the July 25 vote.

To prevent unrest, authorities reportedly closed roads around the Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad and imposed a ban on public assemblies in the area.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, Geo TV, BBC, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal