ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court has issued its interim written order in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s petition seeking suspension of his conviction in Al-Azizia reference.

A dual bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had conducted hearing of the petition filed by the former prime minister through his counsel Khawaja Haris.

The IHC bench stated in the order: “Through the instant petition, the petitioner seeks suspension of judgment dated 24-12- 2018, whereby the petitioner was tried in reference No 19/2017 and was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and was ordered to pay fine of Rs 1.5 billion and 25 million US dollars along with forfeiture of receivables.”

It added that the counsel for the petitioner contended that factually and legally the judgment impugned is not tenable. It was further contended that primarily the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was relied upon that the persons who appeared before the JIT were not called in evidence to testify that the statements of co-accused have not been recorded.

According to the order, it was also contended that during the course of arguments all the judgements relied upon by the petitioner have not been reproduced and considered. It added that the sheer receipt of the remittances does not make present petitioner an accused person and under the circumstances the judgment impugned is not tenable.

After hearing the arguments, the court issued notices to respondents including chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and decided to hear this matter along with the criminal appeal of Nawaz Sharif against the Accountability Court’s verdict seeking its nullification.