Ousted Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison

Capt Safdar in Mansehra today

Capt Safdar in Mansehra today

The Accountability Court sentenced former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years of imprisonment on Friday in one of the three corruption cases.

The court also imposed a fine of £8 million on Mr. Sharif and £2 million on Ms. Maryam. Son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar has also been given one year for not cooperating in the probe.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan credited his party for taking the Panama scandal into the court.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the case, along with two others, on the Supreme Court's directives in the landmark Panama Papers case verdict previous year which disqualified Sharif, the three-time prime minister.

The conviction means Maryam Sharif will be disqualified from contesting the elections. It's unlikely that Pakistan would seek his extradition and the former premier has repeatedly said he would eventually return home for other trials that he faces.

Reacting to the verdict, Shahbaz Sharif said that it is a black day for Pakistan and he will go to each part of the country to expose the conspiracies against them.

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"The people of Pakistan and PML-N reject this decision", said Sharif's brother Shehbaz, who took over as PML-N president after his brother was banned from holding office for life, and is expected to be its prime ministerial candidate. Sharif's family insisted that they had purchased the apartments with "legitimate" financial resources but were unable to disclose those resources before either the accountability court or the Supreme Court. They watched the verdict from London, where Nawaz Sharif's wife, Kulsoom, is receiving treatment for cancer.

"The party campaign now depends on Nawaz's decision to return", said Rasul Baksh Rais, prominent analyst and professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

A copy of the verdict said the Sharif family had failed to prove a legal source of income for the purchase of Avenfield apartments in 1993, 1995 and 1996.

"PML-N will not perish politically as it has a strong base in northern Punjab". The verdict could mark not only the end of the Sharif's turbulent political dynasty but a turning point in a bitterly fought general election campaign, with polling only three... "Now robbers will not go into assemblies, but to jails", he told a roaring crowd of thousands.

1999 - Overthrown in a military coup by General Pervez Musharraf, the country's fourth army takeover since independence in 1947.

1990 - First elected prime minister.

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