Pakistan’s  accountability court on Monday sentenced  Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to  seven years jail and a fine of $2.5 million in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. He was acquitted in the Flagship Investments reference.

Nawaz was taken into custody in court. Armoured vehicles were standing by outside the court premises to transport the former prime minister to prison. Police had to use tear gas to disperse Sharif’s  supporters who had gathered outside the court.

The verdict was announced almost immediately after Nawaz arrived in the courtroom. He has  the option to challenge the verdict against him.

Sharif, who denies wrongdoing, was jailed in July in a different corruption case but bailed on appeal when the Islamabad High Court suspended his sentence in September.

The party had threatened to start a mass protest movement and disrupt parliamentary business if its leader were sent back to prison.

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