The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal on the sentence given in the Al-Azizia Reference on December 18, a private source reported. The IHC registrar office issued a cause list and the court has fixed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) petition in the same case to extend the erstwhile premier’s sentence for hearing on the same day. The former premier through his appeal has challenged the seven-year jail term awarded to him by an accountability court in the Al-Azizia verdict. The NAB moved the appeal seeking to enhance his sentence in the same case. An IHC division bench – comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani – will conduct the hearing. A decision will be made regarding Judge Arshad Malik’s video scandal before Nawaz Sharif’s main petition. Nasir Butt – a central character in the video scandal – had requested to become a party in the erstwhile premier’s appeal. It is pertinent here to mention that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo had requested to make five persons as eyewitnesses in the case including a British expert. In July this year, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz had unveiled a controversial video purportedly showing Judge Malik confessing that he was “pressurised” into convicting Nawaz in the Al-Azizia case sans any evidence following which the judge was barred by the law ministry from serving on the post. However, Judge Malik in an affidavit submitted to the IHC had denied the allegations and claimed that he was “blackmailed” and offered a hefty bribe by the Sharif family to acquit the former premier. Nawaz had then requested the court to give an early verdict on his appeal in view of Judge Arshad Malik’s video scandal.