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A Pakistan court on Monday jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for seven years on graft charges that he says were politically motivated. The anti-corruption court said in its ruling that the three-time prime minister was unable to prove the source of income that led to his ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.
Sharif was sentenced in July to 10 years in prison by the same court, on charges related to the purchase of upscale apartments in London, after the Supreme Court removed him from power. He was released in September pending an appeal. Sharif’s supporters said he would appeal. “Appeal is our right, we will protest but will remain peaceful,” former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who succeeded Sharif last year, told reporters outside the courthouse in Islamabad. Sharif was ousted and disqualified from holding office by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and jailed earlier this year in absentia.
He was arrested on July 13 upon returning from London. The court ruled on two charges related to Sharif’s assets: the ownership of the Al- Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia set up by Sharif’s father in 2001, and Flagship Investments, a company established by his son, Hasan Nawaz, and owns luxury properties in Britain. Sharif was found guilty on the first charge seeking details on how his family came to control the steel mill. He was acquitted on the second charge. (RTRS)