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Chaudhry Sugar Mills case: LHC adjourns hearing on Maryam Nawaz’s bail plea till Oct 31

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LAHORE Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday has adjourned hearing on petition seeking bail of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case till October 31.

During the hearing, Maryam Nawaz’s lawyer Amjad Pervez said that money laundering case against his client is baseless and that she was made Chief Executive of Chaudhry Sugar Mills only in papers.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) misused law and arrested Maryam in money laundering case despite revealing all the assets in Panama Leaks case, he added.

Subsequently, the court has made NAB and others party in the case.

Previously, LHC had postponed the hearing on the request of NAB‘s Lahore director general. Responding to NAB’s appeal, Maryam Nawaz’s lawyer said the court had not issued any notice to anti-corruption watchdog’s DG and that we can easily brief the case in this hearing.

Earlier, NAB had submitted preliminary investigative report to the LHC on Maryam Nawaz’s bail plea, where the bureau had expressed fear that she might flee abroad.

NAB report stated that PML-N vice-president’s crime is not against one individual but the entire society, and she keeps on obstructing the probe against her. “Yousaf Abbas, accused in Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference, had also tried to escape before”, read the report.

The PML-N leader owned 8,064,000 shares of Sugar Mills, while from 2008 to 2010, she became the owner of 47% shares. Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, invested in Chaudhry and Shamim Sugar Mills, but both of them did not disclose their investments, the reported stated.

On October 24, Maryam Nawaz had filed a plea in LHC requesting the court to release her on bail as her father was unwell and undergoing medical treatment at the hospital.

On August 8, NAB team had detained Maryam Nawaz outside the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore for skipping appearance in Chaudhry Sugar Mills due to meeting with her father Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Nawaz was unable to provide the required details of foreign investment in sugar mills while she was also failed to satisfy the bureau regarding source of income for purchasing the shares. NAB had also claimed that three foreigners had transferred 11000 shares worth millions of rupees on Maryam Nawaz’s name.

On July 19, accountability court had turned down petition of NAB claiming Maryam Nawaz had produced a bogus trust deed in Avenfield reference.

Judge Mohammad Bashir had declared anti-corruption watchdog’s appeal as unmaintainable and ruled that no action can be taken in this regard until the decision of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Maryam’s petition against the Avenfield properties verdict.

On July 6, 2018, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield properties reference and sentenced them 10 years and 07 years imprisonment, respectively.

In the verdict, judge Bashir had declared that “The trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus… In view of the role of this accused Maryam Nawaz, she is convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with fine of two million pounds.”

She was arrested and shifted to Adiala jail. Later, in September 2018, and was released from jail after the Islamabad High Court suspended her prison sentence.

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