Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by an anti-corruption court in Islamabad. Each has also received a £8 million and £2 million fine respectively, as the Avenfield Reference case came to an astonishing conclusion today at the Federal Judicial Complex. "Maryam was given seven years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed two million pounds (over United States dollars 2.6 million) and her husband Muhammad Safdar was awarded one year rigorous imprisonment", the NAB prosecution team chief Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told media outside the court. Imran Khan was adamant to pursue the case for which he held rallies and protests.
It's the first verdict against the former premier who's faced a string of trials in Pakistan since he was ousted from office by the Supreme Court a year ago.
The conviction means Maryam Sharif will be disqualified from contesting the elections.
Throughout the case, they and their political supporters have cast the allegations as part of a campaign to discredit the former premier - allegedly led by Pakistan's army, which has made little secret of its dislike for Sharif.
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Mr. Nawaz Sharf, a three-time Prime Minister, was removed as head of the Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by the Election Commission following his disqualification by the Supreme Court. 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.
Now both Sharif and his daughter are in London tending to Kulsoom, who is critically ill.
Sharif is banned from politics for life and had handed the presidency of his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party over to his brother, Shahbaz, who is leading the party's campaign ahead of Pakistan's second-ever democratic transition of power. Exit polls have already predicted a hung National Assembly with a close race between Sharifs' PML-N and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Hours before the verdict, Maryam's husband Safdar referred to it as a "funeral" for justice, the PML-N media office said in a statement.
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1999 - Overthrown in a military coup by General Pervez Musharraf, the country's fourth army takeover since independence in 1947.
Khan is also hoping to become the country's next prime minister.
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