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Pak court orders release of Sharif family`s assets

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 23:38

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Tuesday ordered an
anti-corruption agency to release all properties of former
premier Nawaz Sharif`s family that were seized on the
directions of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

A bench of the Lahore High Court comprising Justices
Mansoor Ali Shah and Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan issued the
order while disposing of seven appeals filed by members of the
Sharif family, including PML-N chief Nawaz and his brother,
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, against the National
Accountability Bureau.

The court directed the NAB to return shares certificates
worth Rs 100 million, prize bonds of Rs 115 million, documents
pertaining to a plot of land in Murree, the Chaudhry Sugar
Mills, the Hudabiya Engineering Services, the Hamza Shipping
Corporation and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

The NAB counsel informed the court that all the properties
were seized on the directions of the then federal government
in 2001.

Following this, the court observed that NAB had no
authority to seize the property of a citizen after his
acquittal in cases.

The bench was hearing seven identical appeals by members
of the Sharif family, who had sought the release of their
property seized by the NAB.

The Sharif family contended that the NAB was not releasing
their properties in order to recover a fine imposed by
anti-corruption court and an anti-terrorism court on Nawaz
Sharif in two separate cases even when the convictions had
been set aside by the Supreme Court in October 2000.

Initially, these appeals were filed in the Rawalpindi
bench of the High Court. They were later transferred to the
principal seat in Lahore as no bench was available to hear
them in Rawalpindi.

On July 22, 2000, an anti-corruption court had sentenced
Nawaz to rigorous imprisonment for 14 years and directed him
to pay a fine of Rs 20 million in a case related to illegal
purchase of a helicopter.

In another case in which Sharif was accused of hijacking a
plane that was bringing Musharraf back to the country, an
anti-terrorism court had convicted him on April 6, 2000, and
awarded him life imprisonment and ordered the seizure of his
movable and immovable property.

The convictions were later set aside by the Supreme Court
in October 2000.

The appellants said that despite their conviction being
set aside by the apex court, the NAB was not releasing their
properties and had instead resorted to coercive measures
against them.


First Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 23:38

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