RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi has been sentenced to life imprisonment in ephedrine quote by a special anti-narcotics court on Sunday, merely four days before the country go to the polls.
He was taken into custody from the courtroom soon after the judge announced the verdict.
Abbasi, who is contesting the upcoming election from NA-60 Rawalpindi, faced charges of misusing 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine, which he obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010.
The court, in its verdict announced after 6 years, ruled that nearly 363kg of ephedrine was rightly used, adding that Abbasi failed to provide evidence of the use of remaining quantity of the drug.
The court acquitted seven other accused in the case, giving them the benefit of doubt.
A former MNA from Rawalpindi, Abbasi was expected to have a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed — who is allied with the PML-N’s arch-rival, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The security around the special court had already been put on high-alert, with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) also present on the back entrance.
Personnel of the Anti-Narcotics Force and police had closed the way leading out of the court premises.