Court to issue verdict in Avenfield case on July 6

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed that the accountability court in Islamabad should announce its verdict in the Avenfield reference after the upcoming general elections, scheduled on July 25. Sharif's daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years and fined £2 million in the case.

Mr. Shahbaz Sharif termed the accountability court ruling as a black judgment.

The Avenfield case was among four cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the former premier and his children on Supreme Court's orders following the Panamagate case which disqualified Mr Sharif.

In a statement before the court, it was submitted that the flats were owned by a Qatari consortium, which later transferred the ownership to the Sharif family in 2006.

Mr Sharif said Pakistan has had a history of verdicts remaining "unnecessarily" reserved for months, hence delaying the judgement of the Avenfield case for a few days "considering an extremely sensitive matter" would not violate any requisite of justice or law.

Authorities had deployed a large number of security personnel in and around the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located. The roads leading to the complex were also closed to traffic on Friday.

The Islamabad administration had reportedly imposed Section 144 in the capital to discourage mass gathering of supporters from various political parties. After the prosecution opposed any delay at such a late stage of the trial, the judge reserved his verdict and adjourned the hearing for an hour.

Clarifying the repeated extension in time, Judge Muhammad Bashir said that the delay is just due to technical glitches including the span required to complete set of photocopies. At 2:30pm, the reader said the announcement had been pushed further to 3:00pm.

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At 3:30pm, the judge and lawyers returned to the courtroom. The court asked all accused to be present in the court for the hearing on Friday.

Prior to the verdict, Maryam took to Twitter, urging the "PML-N's lions" not to get unsettled no matter what the verdict.

"All of this is not new for your Nawaz Sharif, he has faced exile, disqualification, and life imprisonment [sentence] in the past", she said further in the series of tweets.

"My wife has been on a ventilator since last 21 days".

Mr Sharif was speaking to the media outside Harley Clinic in London where his wife, Kulsoom is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

Speaking to voters today, Safdar said he does not fear any verdict against him, adding that he will be exonerated in the court of public opinion. Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three cases while his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield case only.

NAB's accountability court has declared Hassan and Hussain proclaimed offenders.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.

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