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Pak judge who had convicted Sharif, recuses from hearing 2 other graft cases

By PTI
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    Islamabad, July 17: A Pakistani anti-corruption court judge who had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in jail in a graft case, has recused himself from hearing two other corruption cases against the former prime minister.

    Nawaz Sharif

    Justice Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court, in a letter addressed to Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi, said the Al-Azizia steel mills and the Flagship corruption cases should be transferred to some other judge, according to the IHC sources.

    In the letter, the judge said he had no objection if the cases were transferred as he could not hear these cases, they said.

    The move came on the heels of filing of separate appeals by Sharif, 68, his daughter Maryam, 44, and son-in-law Capt Muhammad Safdar (retd), challenging the verdict.

    Earlier, Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris had objected to Justice Bashir hearing the two other corruption cases.

    The Islamabad Accountability Court had on July 6 found Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law guilty over the family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.

    The court sentenced Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and imposed a fine of 8 million pounds (USD 10 million) in the Avenfield corruption case. Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison along with a 2 million pounds (USD 2.6 million) fine.

    Sharif and Maryam were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London. They were later taken to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

    Sharif's son-in-law, Safdar, who was arrested on July 8, is also lodged in Adiala Jail.

    Three-time prime minister Sharif resigned as Pakistan prime minister last year after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.

    Last week, Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris had objected to Justice Bashir hearing the two other corruption cases when the judge resumed hearing.

    Harris said how Judge Bashir could hear the two cases when he had already given verdict in Avenfield case.

    He said evidence and charges in all cases are almost similar.

    PTI

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