In a relief to jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz, a Pakistani anti-corruption court on Friday dismissed a plea filed against her for submitting a fake document in the high-profile Avenfield Apartments case.
Maryam, 45, the vice president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was accused of providing a fake trust deed during the hearing of the case. The deed was written in Calibri font in 2006 when the font was not available for public use.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved an application before the accountability judge Mohammad Bashir against Maryam for the bogus trust deed.
Bashir after hearing the case reserved the judgment and after a while announced that the case was dismissed.
Maryam, who was accompanied by her husband, former army captain, Mohmmad Safdar and senior party leaders, was wearing a shirt with a picture of Sharif that read- "Free Nawaz Sharif" when she arrived for the hearing.
Responding to the judgement on Twitter, she said that “the judge and the NAB made a spectacle of them in sheer frustration”.
She said the NAB suddenly remembered that after a year the case was decided, it should get her punished in the (fake deed) case.
She was sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2018 in connection with the case that pertains to the ownership of the Sharif family's posh apartments at Avenfield House, London. The sentence was, however, suspended by the Islamabad High Court.
The case was one of the three filed by NAB last year in light of the Supreme Court's verdict against Sharif in the Panama Papers case.
Summons for her in the fake deed case were issued on July 9 days after she posted a video on Twitter of accountability court judge Arshad Malik, saying that he awarded sentence to Sharif in Al-Azizia case on December 24, 2018 under pressure.
Sharif, 69, is serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 in the Al-Azizia case.
A large number of PML-N party workers protested outside the court in support of Maryam. Police arrested some of them for causing unrest.
Talking to the media on her arrival at the court, Maryam condemned the workers' arrest and said the Pakistan government was afraid of her presence in Islamabad.
“Their fear of Maryam Nawaz preceded my presence in the capital. If you were this afraid you should not have gotten selected,” she said.
She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan's government is trying to suppress the voices of PML-N leaders but they “will continue to raise their voice against injustice,” The Express Tribune reported.
She also questioned why no action has been taken against Malik after she exposed him in the video.
“We need to sacrifice our own principles because of a selected prime minister,” she was quoted as saying in the report.