Former Pakistan prime minister sentenced to 10 years in jail
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani antigraft tribunal on Friday announced a much-awaited ruling in a corruption case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, sentencing him to 10 years in prison over purchases of luxury apartments in London.
Sharif, who is in London with his ailing wife, was not in the courtroom for the verdict and was sentenced in absentia. It’s unlikely that Pakistan will seek his extradition and the former premier hours after the ruling said he was returning home, without specifying a date.
“I am coming back to Pakistan,” he said at a news conference aired on Pakistani TV. “I am not afraid of jail.” He said he would continue his struggle “for the supremacy of law and the constitution”.
Sharif said his wife was on a respirator at a London hospital and he was waiting for her to regain consciousness, so he could talk to her before returning home.
He asked Pakistanis to back his party’s candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections and called Friday’s ruling against him “strange”, saying none of his family members had misappropriated government funds.
It was the latest blow to Sharif, just weeks ahead of the elections later this month and the first verdict against the embattled former premier who has faced a string of trials since he was ousted from office by the Supreme Court last year for concealing assets abroad.
In Friday’s ruling, the court also sentenced Sharif ’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, to seven years. – AP/ANA