The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that they have no objection to the reinstatement of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s conviction appeals in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases.

Sharif, who appeared before the IHC, previously sought the restoration of his appeals against the sentences given in the two corruption references.

NAB informed the division bench, led by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and comprising Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, that it held no objections to the revival of Nawaz’s appeals.

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At the outset of the hearing, NAB Prosecutor General Ghulam Qadir Shah said that a reference can only be taken back if it is yet pending a verdict. “We have reviewed these appeals as well as the facts and legalities of both references,” he said.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s appeals against his conviction in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia references.

The verdict, which was reserved earlier today, was announced by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The bench issued the verdict while hearing Nawaz’s pleas seeking protective bail in the cases and for restoring his appeals against his conviction.

During the hearing earlier this week, the IHC issued notices to the NAB on Sharif’s request and extended his bail period, as he appeared before the court with surety bonds worth Rs1 million.

Sharif had been convicted in 2018 in the two corruption cases and had left for London for medical treatment in 2019, returning to Pakistan on October 21 after nearly four years in self-imposed exile.

Following his appearance before the IHC, the Punjab government invoked Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to suspend Sharif’s sentence in the Al-Azizia reference.

On the same day, the PML-N leader was granted bail from an accountability court in Islamabad in the Toshakhana case against him.

Sharif’s legal saga has been ongoing since 2018 when he was convicted in the Avenfield case, followed by the Al-Azizia case later that year.

Despite being granted bail by the IHC in 2019, he remained abroad for medical treatment, leading to his declaration as a proclaimed offender by both the IHC and the accountability court.

In a judgment in June 2021, the IHC rejected Sharif’s appeals due to his continuous absence from court proceedings.

The court stated that as Sharif was a fugitive, he had lost his right to present his case before the court, leading to the dismissal of his appeal.

On October 19, 2023, both the IHC and the accountability court provided Sharif with protective bail until October 24, 2023.