Son-in-law of ex-Pakistani prime minister is arrested by anti-corruption police

13 July, 2018, 02:26 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Pakistan       by Associated Press of Pakistan | Published

The former first family's son-in-law, retired Capt. Muhammad Safdar Awan, who was sentenced to a year in jail for abetting beside Sharif and Nawaz was arrested by NAB authorities Sunday evening from a rally meant to display PML-N's (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) power and showcase support of the masses in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Nawaz was sentenced 10-year imprisonment in Avenfield Reference Case on July 6 by NAB court while seven-year imprisonment was announce by the court for Maryam Nawaz.

On account of serious differences among the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leaders in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the party leadership was not hopeful that party members and public would turn up in significant numbers at the Islamabad International Airport on Friday to welcome Sharif and his daughter, which is why the venue was changed to Lahore, it is learnt from well-placed party sources. Maryam was given 7 years imprisonment for abetment after she was found "instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father" and one year for non-cooperation with NAB.

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Pakistan's anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said in a statement that Muhammad Safdar handed himself in.

"After continued raids of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at his houses in Abbotabad, Mansehra and Haripur, Captain Safdar chose to surrender before NAB", NAB said.

"Today's verdict shows that these Avenfield apartments were purchased using corruption money", prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told reporters, citing the name of the apartment building in London. Maryam was given a prison term for allegedly providing a forged trust deed, for which Safdar was a witness.

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The father-daughter duo, now in London with Sharif's ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, is expected to return to Pakistan on Friday.

After the verdict on Friday, Safdar said "justice has been massacred" and railed against the judiciary.

The court has declared that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam will be arrested upon their arrival in Pakistan.

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Political observers believe that the decision for tendering arrest by Nawaz Sharif at Lahore Airport to NAB authorities would boost the morale of workers of his party PMLN and his political move give him a leverage in forthcoming general elections 2018 which are scheduled to be held on July 25, 2018.

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