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Nawaz granted bail in graft cases; arrest warrant suspended in Toshakhana case

Nawaz granted bail in graft cases; arrest warrant suspended in Toshakhana case

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ISLAMABAD: All the legal hurdles were removed on Thursday in the smooth return of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after he was granted protective bail in two graft cases while his arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case was suspended by an accountability court.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo had approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for bail in Al-Azizia and Avenfield references which approved the pleas, granting bail till October 24.

The IHC announced the verdict, restraining the authorities from arresting Nawaz Sharif on his return to the country on Saturday (October 21).

The high court said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) did not raise any objections to the protective bail sought by the PML-N supremo in corruption cases.

Earlier, an accountability court suspended the arrest warrant issued against him in the Toshakhana case.

A two-member IHC bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the Nawaz’s bail petitions.

Reacting to the verdict, PML-N President and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the IHC decision, saying his elder brother was disqualified based on a “fictitious and fabricated story”,

“The elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified based on a fictitious and fabricated story. He was implicated in absurd cases and subjected to mistreatment,” he wrote on X.  

“Any fair hearing would have established his innocence. Bail is a fundamental right, and we welcome the IHC decision in this regard, hoping that justice will prevail, InshaAllah,” the PML-N chief added.

A day earlier, the IHC issued a notice to NAB on Nawaz’s petitions seeking protective bail in corruption references.

The NAB Rawalpindi Bureau had nominated Rafay Maqsood to appear before the IHC bench as a prosecutor.

The three-time former prime minister was declared a proclaimed offender by the IHC in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases over non-compliance after he went to London for medical treatment with the court’s permission in November 2019.

In Avenfield and Al-Azizia references, Nawaz was sentenced to 10 and seven years in prison, respectively, by an accountability court in 2018.

His appeals against the convictions were dismissed by the IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani for non-compliance.

Nawaz’s sentence in Al-Azizia reference was suspended in 2019 by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on medical grounds and he was permitted to fly to London to seek treatment, after which he did not return.

Nawaz’s travel plan: Dubai-Islamabad-Lahore

Azam Nazeer Tarar, the head of Nawaz’s legal team, said no change has been made in the party supremo’s return schedule. He said Nawaz would land at Islamabad airport in a charted plane from Dubai on October 21 and would leave for Lahore after a brief stay.

“Nawaz Sharif’s return plan is the same as submitted in Islamabad High Court,” he added. Tarar said Nawaz will leave for Lahore after fulfilling legal formalities and attending a consultative meeting in the federal capital.






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