Former PM seeks exemption from appearance in Al-Azizia case

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sought exemption from personal appearance at a division bench of the Islamabad High Court which would hear his appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference on Tuesday (today).

The Accountability Court of Islamabad convicted Mr Sharif on Dec 24 in the reference and sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment.

The former prime minister, who has been granted bail on medical grounds by the Supreme Court for six weeks, filed the application in the IHC through his counsel along with a medical certificate.

The certificate issued by the Sharif Medical City dated April 22 “certify that the special medical board, constituted at the Sharif Medical City…has advised Mr Muhammad Nawaz Sharif…complete rest and avoidance of stress, as it would be seriously detrimental to his health”.

“Mr Nawaz Sharif is undergoing initial stabilising treatment pending the final comprehensive recommendations from all concerned specialists/experts who have been contracted for the opinion for a definitive treatment,” the certificate said.

Commenting on the application of Mr Sharif, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) said that Mr Sharif was trying to avoid accountability in the garb of ailment.

In a statement issued by the PTI’s Central Media Department, party’s information secretary Omar Sarfraz Cheema said that 27 days had passed since Mr Sharif was awarded the bail, but the Sharif family was still mulling over his treatment and it had not reached a decision on the issue.

He questioned whether the hue and cry made by PML-N leaders and supporters over the seriousness of the former’s PM’s health was just to seek bail.

“It seems the Sharif family is trying to avoid accountability in the garb of ailment of Mr Sharif,” he said, adding that political engagements of Mr Sharif over the last 27 days had completely contradicted what the Sharif family members wanted to establish about the health of the former PML-N leader.

The PTI leader said that there would be no “deal” or “dheel” in Mr Sharif’s case and the accountability process would definitely reach its logical end.