The accountability court, in a momentous decision on Friday, sentenced former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to 7 years in the Avenfield corruption reference.
The former prime minster and his daughter were not present in the country citing Begum Kulsooms ill-health and Nawazs son-in-law Safdar was missing from court. The father-daughter duo had requested for a seven-day exemption, stating that they want to be in court when the judgment is announced. However, the plea was dismissed and the verdict was announced in their absence.
In 2016, data leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca and gathered by the ICJ [International Consortium of Journalism] showed that then-premier Nawaz and sons owned multiple off-shore companies and assets. The revelation led to severe backlash from opposing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Awami Muslim League. Chiefs of both parties; Imran Khan and Sheikh Rasheed, submitted petitions in the SC against Nawazs assets claiming that none of them were declared in the 2013 general elections.
In July 2017, in a historic verdict, the SC disqualified Nawaz from holding public office as PM, leading him to resign from his position immediately. Contrary to the corruption allegations, the disqualification was on the basis of his Iqama [work permit], and for not declaring his salary as asset of employment at Capital FZE, a company owned by his son.