Pakistani ex-PM Sharif’s son-in-law arrested over corruption

Mohammad Safdar’s arrest in Rawalpindi city comes after court verdict against him, his wife Maryam, father-in-law Nawaz
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The son-in-law of former Premier Nawaz Sharif surrendered to authorities in Rawalpindi city on Sunday following an accountability court verdict against him in a corruption case.
Local private broadcaster Geo News said Mohammad Safdar was arrested at an election rally of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) in Rawalpindi.
Safdar’s arrest came after an anti-corruption court on Friday handed down jail terms to him, former Premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam in a graft case linked to the buying of four luxury apartments at Avenfiled House in London’s posh Park Lane area in 1993 allegedly through illegal means.
The court had handed down a 10-year jail term to Sharif and also imposed 8 million pounds ($10.58 million) fine on him. His daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar were sentenced to seven years and one year in jail, respectively. The wife and husband were also disqualified from contesting the upcoming elections. The court had also ordered the confiscation of the four apartments in London, and imposed a fine of 2 million pounds ($2.65 million) on Maryam.
Earlier on Saturday Safdar in a statement said the people of Pakistan will decide how the country will be run. General elections are due in Pakistan on July 25.
Sharif, who is currently in London to see his ailing wife, has already announced that he will return to Pakistan on July 13 despite the court verdict against him.
“Doctors said they can’t say when my mother would regain consciousness but we have decided to return Pakistan on Friday,” Maryam Nawaz, who is also in London, said on Twitter.
Last July, 68-year-old Sharif was barred from holding public office by the Supreme Court over the whistleblower Panama Papers scandal, which also led to the filing of three corruption cases, including the Avenfield properties case against him and his family. Not long after, the top court also barred him from holding the leadership of his political party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
The former premier insists all transactions he and his family made were legal.
Sharif, who served as the premier from 1990 to 1992, 1997 to 1999, and 2013 to 2017, could not complete even a single five-year term. His two previous governments were dismissed over corruption charges and through a bloodless military coup in 1992 and 1999, respectively.–AA

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