The font that led to Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif's downfall

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a joint news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 12, 2015.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a joint news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 12, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE, Pakistan - The Pakistan Supreme Court's decision on Friday (July 28) to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from public office partly stemmed from the discovery that documents submitted to defend him from allegations of corruption were typed in the wrong Microsoft font.

Mr Sharif's daughter, Ms Maryam Nawaz, had submitted copies of two documents in court that were written in the font Calibri to claim that Mr Sharif had nothing to do with two properties in London that he had been linked to in the Panama Papers expose. The documents were dated February 2006.

However, the Calibri font was not released commercially before January 1, 2007, which indicated that the documents were actually prepared much later.

The person leading the investigation team reportedly wrote in the report, "I have identified the type font used to produce both certified declarations as Calibri. However, Calibri was not commercially available before 31st January 2007 and as such, neither of the original of the certified declarations is correctly dated and (appears) to have been created at some later point in time."

 

Even though there was most likely more evidence against Mr Sharif, the font fiasco proved to be a damning piece of evidence that cast doubts over the proofs furnished by Mr Sharif and his team to reject the allegations of corruption against him. The court ruled that Mr Sharif had been dishonest to Parliament and the judicial system, making him unfit to hold the office of prime minister.

According to the Panama Papers, which were based on leaked information from offshore financial services provider Mossack Fonseca, Mr Sharif's family used offshore accounts to hide money obtained through corrupt means.

Although Mr Sharif himself was not explicitly named in the report, a joint investigation committee formed by the Supreme Court in April 2017 stated that it had found evidence linking the prime minister and his family to corruption.