What is the Avenfield case?

Islamabad High Court acquits Maryam Nawaz, Capt Safdar Thursday
Sep 29, 2022

On Thursday, the Islamabad High Court overturned the conviction of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice president Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield Reference by an accountability court.

The court said that the prosecution failed to prove the allegations levied against the couple.

So what actually Avenfield case was.

Avenfield case

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained around 11.5m files from the database of one of the world’s biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

In 2016, the ICIJ released Panama Papers.

The papers revealed that the Sharif Family owns the four flats in the posh localities of London Mayfair and Park Lane. The family was using the flats since 90s.

It was alleged that the Sahrif Family bought these flats with ill-gotten money.

The Supreme Court took suo-moto notice and formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the allegations.

The JIT submitted its report to the apex court and recommended forwarding references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children including Maryam to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Multiple references were filed against Nawaz, Maryam, Hassan and Hussain in the NAB. The Avenfield Reference was one of them.

In July 2018, an Islamabad accountability court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison and a fine of eight million pounds was imposed on him in a case linked to the Sharif family’s purchase of upscale London flats.

It said the Sharifs could not legitimately show the money trail for the purchase of the luxury properties in London, mostly in the mid-1990s. A copy of the verdict said the Sharif family had failed to prove a legal source of income for the purchase of the Avenfield apartments.

The verdict came as a serious blow to PML-N’s troubled campaign ahead of the 2018 General Elections.

Consequently, Nawaz filed an appeal in the Islamabad High Court against the judgement. It was, however, dismissed. Nawaz and his son Hussain Nawaz Sharif were declared proclaimed offenders in the case and arrest warrants were issued against them.

The PML-N founder’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar were accused in the case as well. Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of two million pounds was imposed on her. Safdar has, on the other hand, was given a punishment of a year in prison.

Maryam and Sadar had challenged their convictions in the Islamabad High Court. The court on Thursday acquitted them.

maryam nawaz

Avenfield reference

Captain Safdar

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