Pakistan: Ex-PM’s son-in-law freed amid graft probe

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KARACHI, Pakistan – An anti-corruption court on Monday released on bail the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law in multiple cases, state-run Pakistan Television reported.

Sharif’s son-in-law, retired army Capt. Mohammad Safdar, who is also a member of the lower house, was taken into custody from Islamabad airport on late Sunday soon after his arrival from London along with his wife Maryam Nawaz.

However, Maryam, whose bailable warrant was also issued, had not been detained.

The couple appeared before the court in the capital Islamabad, where the anti-corruption authorities sought Safdar’s jail remand. The judge however rejected the plea and granted bail to the couple against a surety bond of Rs 5 million ($47,000) each.

On Oct. 2, the anti-corruption court, which is trying Sharif’s family in four different corruption cases, had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for his two sons and son-in-law, and bailable warrants for his daughter Maryam for deliberately avoiding the court proceedings.

The court initiated exercise to declare Sharif’s sons absconders as they have not been appearing before the court despite repeated orders. The court has fixed Oct. 13 as a date to indict Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law.

Sharif’s sons — Hassan Nawaz and Hussein Nawaz — who are British nationals, have opted for not appearing before the court.

“They are British nationals, and Pakistan’s law does not apply on them. It is up to them if they want to appear before the court or not,” Maryam, who is touted as Sharif’s political successor, told reporters outside the court.

“This is not accountability. This is a mere political victimization. I am being penalized just because I am daughter of Nawaz Sharif,” she said, adding that she and her husband would face the cases.

Sharif, 67, was disqualified by the country’s Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case in July this year. The court also ordered opening of multiple corruption cases against Sharif and his family.

Sharif is currently in London where his wife is fighting cancer.