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Pak judge recuses from hearing petition against conviction of Sharif family

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Lahore, Aug 8 :  A Pakistani judge has recused himself from hearing a petition filed against the conviction and sentencing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in the Avenfield properties corruption case, a media report said today.

Lahore High Court’s Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza, who headed a three-member bench constituted by LHC Chief Justice on August 4 to hear the petition, recused himself citing personal reasons, Geo TV reported.

Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi and Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem made up the rest of the bench.

Following the breakup of the bench formed to hear the petition, Justice Mirza has referred the matter to LHC chief justice.

On July 6, Sharif, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar were convicted for not disclosing details of the purchase of four posh apartments in London.

The petition – moved by Lawyers’ Foundation for Justice through Advocate AK Dogar – challenged the convictions, delivered under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, on grounds that the National Accountability Bureau’s law was no more valid after the implementation of 18th amendment.

Sharif was sentenced under this “dead law” which is illegal, Dogar argued in the petition, and requested to nullify the sentences of Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law.

The three-time Pakistan premier is serving a 10-year jail term in a corruption case over his family’s purchase of luxury apartments in London. He has been lodged in the Adiala Jail since July 13.

Maryam, widely seen as Sharif’s anointed political heir, was also found guilty and handed down seven years in prison with a USD 2.6 million fine. Her husband Muhammad Safdar also received a one-year jail sentence. They are also serving their terms at Adiala Jail.

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