PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif arrives to appear before the Islamabad High Court on October 26, 2023. — AFP

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif arrives to appear before the Islamabad High Court on October 26, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday resumed hearing on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.

A division bench, consisting of Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb, is conducting the hearing.

The PML-N supremo has appeared in the court.

On December 24, 2018, the accountability court sentenced the former prime minister to seven years in jail and imposed a fine of 2.5 million pounds in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

Nawaz had submitted an appeal against the decision of the accountability court, requesting the court to annul the decision of imprisonment and fine.

The NAB has taken the stand in the appeal that the accountability court awarded a lesser sentence and it should be enhanced.

During the last hearing on November 29, the IHC accepted the appeal of the former prime minister and acquitted him in the Avenfield Apartments reference.

The NAB also withdrew its appeal from the high court against the acquittal of Nawaz in the Flagship reference.

On July 28, 2017, the Supreme Court disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for not declaring a recieveable salary and ordered NAB to file Avenfield, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship references following Panama Papers revelations.

While serving the sentence in the Al-Azizia case, Nawaz was diagnosed with an immune system disorder and subsequently allowed to travel abroad for treatment as per doctors’ advice.

In December 2020, Nawaz was declared a “proclaimed offender” in both cases for “deliberately” not returning to the country.

After he failed to appear in the IHC during the appeals proceedings, the IHC bench headed by Justice Farooq dismissed his appeals against convictions on June 24, 2021.

In October this year, Nawaz returned to the country after obtaining protective bail in both graft cases and surrendered before the court, after which his appeals were restored.

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