ISLAMABAD (REUTERS) – A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Thursday (Oct 19) indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter over allegations linked to ownership of London properties, pressing charges over accusations that could see the former leader jailed.
Sharif, 67, resigned in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office over an undeclared source of income, but the veteran leader maintains his grip on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
A Reuters witness in court said Sharif, his daughter Maryam, as well as her husband Muhammad Safdar, had all been indicted by a court of the anti-corruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
They all pleaded not guilty. Maryam and Safdar were present in court, but Sharif sent a representative while he tends to his ailing wife in Britain as she undergoes cancer treatment.
Sharif’s disqualification stemmed from the Panama Papers leaks in 2016 that appeared to show that his daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and used them to buy posh flats in London.
The Supreme Court initially declined to dismiss Sharif but ordered an investigation into his family’s wealth. After the probe, it disqualified him and ordered the NAB to investigate and conduct a trial.
A separate Supreme Court-appointed panel said the family’s wealth did not match its income, and accused Maryam and her brothers of signing forged documents to obscure ownership of offshore companies used to buy the London flats.