ISLAMABAD - Nawaz Sharif’s counsel filed a petition for the third time seeking suspension of the sentence handed down to the former prime minister in Al Azizia reference case after addressing objections raised by the Islamabad High Court registrar on Saturday.

Following objections, Sharif’s counsel took the petition back and has now been filed by the former premier’s counsel Munawar Iqbal. Hearing on the matter has been scheduled for January 7.

On January 2, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris filed an appeal against the verdict in Al Azizia Steel Mills reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). But the court returned the petition after filing objections.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also filed an appeal against the acquittal of former premier Nawaz in the Flagship Reference. The anti-graft body has also challenged the Al Azizia verdict in which a request has been made to increase the duration of the sentence.

On December 24, an accountability court handed down seven years rigorous imprisonment along with fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference to Nawaz and acquitted him in the Flagship Investment reference.