Al-Azizia reference: IHC rejects Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea on medical grounds

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday rejected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea for bail on medical grounds.

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Nawaz had filed a plea before the IHC to suspend his sentence and grant him bail on medical grounds. The two-judge IHC bench, which had reserved its decision on the request earlier today, rejected the plea to grant him bail.

Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani of the IHC read out the court’s orders.

On Wednesday, Nawaz filed an application with IHC seeking permission to submit additional documents in his bail petition on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia reference which was approved by IHC.

In his plea, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo stated that he be allowed to submit verified medical reports by foreign doctors for the fulfillment of justice.

On June 15, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had requested the IHC to discard a petition filed by Nawaz seeking his release from prison on medical grounds.

In its response, the accountability watchdog took the stance that the former prime minister’s health is in no imminent danger.

The medical reports did not suggest a surgery anytime soon and the court had sentenced Nawaz keeping in view his medical history, said the bureau.

Nawaz cannot be released on bail by the suspension of sentence, added the bureau.

An accountability court on December 24 had found the PML-N leader guilty in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

The court said, in a short verdict, there was concrete evidence against the former premier in the Al-Azizia reference and that he was unable to provide a money trail in the case.

The court ordered that Nawaz be “sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term of seven years along with a fine if Rs1.5 billion and US$25 million”.

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