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LHC Grants Bail to Maryam Nawaz

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Mobeen Ansari for Newsweek

The PMLN leader had been on judicial remand in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which she has been accused of money-laundering

The Lahore High Court on Monday granted bail to Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz in the ongoing Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem had, on Oct. 31, reserved its verdict on the bail plea, which had been filed on Sept. 30. The bail hearing had attracted greater scrutiny due to the deteriorating health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, with Maryam seeking immediate bail on a humanitarian basis to spend time with her ailing father.

On Monday, the court ordered her release following the submission of surety bonds of Rs. 10 million and the surrender of her passport and the deposition of an additional Rs. 70 million, which the prosecution has alleged was recently withdrawn from her personal bank account.

The National Accountability Bureau, which is investigating the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, had argued against granting any bail on humanitarian grounds, saying this could only be granted under ‘extraordinary’ circumstances and Maryam’s situation did not merit this.

Former P.M. Sharif’s condition, according to his personal physician, remains critical despite him being granted bail on humanitarian grounds. Dr. Adnan Khan has said Nawaz’s various ailments, coupled with inattention during NAB custody, has left him in a precarious situation. The government earlier allowed Maryam to visit her father at hospital for a few hours last month, following which she too was hospitalized due to stress and a few other health concerns.

NAB arrested Maryam on Aug. 8 before being sent on judicial remand on Sept. 25. The anti-corruption watchdog has claimed Maryam was involved in money laundering through the Chaudhry Sugar Mills during 1992-93 when her father was prime minister of Pakistan.

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