The Islamabad High Court on Thursday set January 21 as the date for hearing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal for suspension of his sentence in Al Azizia corruption reference.

A two-member divisional bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had ordered the registrar’s office on Wednesday to fix the earliest date possible for hearing Nawaz’s petition, after the former premier requested the court to hear his plea against the seven-year jail term awarded to him in the Al Azizia reference as soon as possible.

The Accountability Court on December 24 had found the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader guilty in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

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Nawaz had filed an appeal in IHC against the verdict and also submitted a petition seeking suspension of the sentence.