Ex-PM Sharif heading back to Pakistan despite sentence

Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a UK PML-N Party Workers Convention meeting with supporters in London on July 11, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Ex-PM Sharif heading back to Pakistan despite sentence

  • Sharif was sentenced by a court in Islamabad last week over the purchase of high-end properties in London

LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said he would return to Pakistan this week despite being sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court there.
"Despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes, I am going to Pakistan," he told a conference of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party in London.
"Put Nawaz Sharif in prison for life, send him to the gallows but you will have to answer the questions that the people of Pakistan are asking and they will stop only after getting answers," he said to cheering from supporters.
Sharif also alluded to the power of Pakistan's security establishment, saying: "There was a time when we used to say a state within a state, now it's a state above the state".
At the conference, held in the ballroom of the Grosvenor House hotel in central London's plush Mayfair district, one man held a placard reading: "Leave democracy alone".
Attendees chanted "Nawaz Sharif, We Love You!" as he concluded his speech.
Sharif was sentenced by a court in Islamabad last week over the purchase of high-end properties in London.
He was ousted from his third term as prime minister by the Supreme Court last year following a corruption investigation and banned from politics for life but remains a powerful symbol for his ruling party.
Usman Khan, PML-N's coordinator in Britain, told AFP that Sharif's case "was manipulated by the judiciary and the establishment in Pakistan".
Khan said Sharif would leave London on Thursday and arrive in Lahore in Pakistan at around 0600 or 0700 GMT.
"We are expecting a large crowd to welcome him," he said.
Khan said he hoped Sharif would be allowed to speak to his supporters in Pakistan "before he surrenders himself to the authorities".


Philippine president’s fiercest critic ordered arrested

Updated 25 September 2018
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Philippine president’s fiercest critic ordered arrested

  • Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said that he would agree to be arrested after a Manila court issued a warrant
  • A Makati regional trial court officer said Trillanes can post bail for the rebellion case

MANILA, Philippines: A court has ordered Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critic in Congress arrested after the president revoked the senator’s 2011 amnesty for a failed coup attempt and revived rebellion charges against him.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV told a news conference Tuesday that he would agree to be arrested after a Manila court issued a warrant. The former military officer has been taking refuge in the Senate to avoid arrest before a warrant was issued.
Trillanes said “darkness and evil have prevailed in the country.” He called Duterte’s move a blow to democracy.
A Makati regional trial court officer said Trillanes can post bail for the rebellion case.
Trillanes said he could still be locked up by authorities for other reasons considering Duterte’s zeal to have him and other critics jailed.