Pakistan court indicts ex-PM Sharif for corruption: official

 19 Oct 2017 - 15:01

Pakistan court indicts ex-PM Sharif for corruption: official


Islamabad: A Pakistani court indicted ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges spiralling from the Panama Papers leak, a senior government official said Thursday, in a case that could ultimately see the former leader jailed.

"The court also indicted Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam and his son-in-law in a corruption case related to their London properties," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Sharif's lawyer entered a not guilty plea for the sacked premier, who is currently in London with his wife Kalsum as she undergoes cancer treatment.

His daughter Maryam also pleaded not guilty, brushing aside the decision as "baseless" as she left the court in Islamabad. 

"(The) Charges are not only groundless, baseless but unfounded also frivolous and on top of that we are being denied our right to fair trial," Maryam said in a statement to the court seen by AFP.

In late July the Supreme Court sacked Sharif following an investigation into corruption allegations against his family, making him the 15th premier in Pakistan's 70-year history to be ousted before completing a full term.

The allegations against the prime minister stemmed from the Panama Papers leak last year, which sparked a media frenzy over the luxurious lifestyles and high-end London property portfolio owned by his family.

The indictment comes ahead of a general election due by the end of 2018, in which Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) will face a renewed offensive by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.