LAHORE Accountability Court Number 5, Lahore, Friday sent Sohail Zia Butt, former MPA and close relative of PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif, to jail for three years, invoking 2001 conviction passed on him in absentia in a criminal reference filed under the charges of financial embezzlement. He was declared proclaimed offender by the court in that reference as at the relevant time he was not in the country to respond to the court notices. As such he was facing warrants of arrest which were executed on Wednesday when he was taken into custody by the NAB authorities. Sohail Butt who was produced before the court under custody, through his counsel, pleaded innocence, stressing that he did not receive any summons seeking his appearance, and that he was politically victimised through the said reference filed on the complaint of one Jarar Hussain Rizvi, manger of National Industrial Cooperative Finance Corporation (NICFC). The court had convicted him in absentia on account of his non-appearance before the court despite repeated calls. The authority of National Accountability Bureau took Sohail into custody on Wednesday last when he was driving his car near Kalma Chowk. On Thursday, he was produced before the Accountability Court which remanded him in the NAB custody and later he was taken to a hospital for his medical check up of heart problem. The court, meanwhile, required his presence on Friday in another reference number 16/2001, and in the same, the court invoked sentence of three years against him. The court pronounced that Zia was earlier sentenced to three years jail but he did not move appeal before court of law against the same, despite the fact that he had come back to the country. And now he can move appeal against the conviction, it added. The NAB has filed the reference during the regime of Pervez Musharraf against Sohail Zia Butt, accusing him of committing embezzlement of two million rupees vis-a-vis vacation of a building at The Mall, Lahore, for which the NICFC had struck a deal with Sohail Zia Butt which he failed to obey. The son of Sohail Zia Butt PML-N MNA Umar Sohail Zia Butt was also present in the courtroom.