Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption

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It was the latest blow to Sharif, just weeks ahead of the country's parliament elections later this month, and also 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 past year for concealing assets overseas. One among them was Avenfield.

The court has also ordered the federal government to confiscate the London apartments.

His family, however, insist they legitimately acquired the four properties.

"These of types verdict and punishments are expected in the path I have undertaken", Nawaz said while referring to the Avenfield verdict.

In compliance to the Supreme Court order of July 28, 2017, which ousted the three-time prime minister, declaring him "dishonest" under Article 62 (1) (f) of Pakistan's constitution, three corruption references were filed by Pakistan's National Accountability Court (NAB) in September against the Sharifs and a fourth against their relative, ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed remarked that a "political bigwig has been sentenced for the first time in Pakistan's history". Sharif and his co-accused daughter, Maryam Nawaz, both of whom are in London since June monitoring the health of Sharif's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is being treated for throat cancer, pleaded their inability to appear before the court.

From the start of the ex-PM's legal troubles in 2016, Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her husband, Muhammad Safdar, were also convicted, with Ms. Sharif sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of 2 million pounds and Safdar sentenced to one year in prison. The party is now headed by Mr. Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz Sharif.

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The decision comes at a time of growing suspicion of military meddling in politics ahead of the polls, as well as media complaints of being muzzled.

Maryam Nawaz and her husband stand barred from contesting the July 25 election from Lahore and Mansehra respectively.

Experts believe that it is a very significant political development as general elections in Pakistan will be held this month.

He fell out with powerful generals once he ascended to power a decade later, and relations became fraught after his return as premier in 2013, partly because he challenged the military over foreign policy, which the generals traditionally considered their domain.

The PTI chairman said that his party raised the issue in the parliament but nothing was done, adding that Nawaz Sharif's sons admitted of the ownership of London flats when Panama Papers scandal emerged.

Khan is running on a socially conservative, anti-corruption platform. He denies colluding with the military and praises the disqualifications and prosecutions of PML-N figures as a long-needed crackdown on graft. The PML-N sweeps back to power in an election the gives its allies a solid National Assembly majority.