Sharif, daughter, son-in-law indicted for graft

Kelly Massey
October 20, 2017

Pakistan's anti-graft found Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam including her husband Muhammad Safdar guilty in the case, however, the family pleaded not guilty, Reuters reported.

An anti-corruption court in Pakistan has indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law, in connection with leaks previous year that appeared to show his family owned offshore shell companies they used for the secret purchase of high-value London real estate.

Maryam Nawaz told reporters as she was leaving the court: "One day there would be accountability of the accountability process her family is going through".

The court proceeded with the indictment of the trio after rejecting three applications filed by Sharif, Maryam and Safdar requesting suspension of the indictment.

Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar were present in the court, but Nawaz Sharif sent a representative as he is now attending to his ailing wife, who is undergoing cancer treatment in London.

The court had exempted Sharif from appearing on October 9, but fixed Oct 13 for his indictment.

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The court indicted the Sharif family members in the London properties reference today even though Nawaz Sharif and lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris are both out of the country. Maryam said her party is still united despite the differences of opinion.

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.

The accountability court has also issued directives for Thursday's hearing.

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

"Moreover, the charges are being framed without awaiting the detailed order of Supreme Court in [our] review petition", she argued.

Political analyst Hasan Askari said the Sharifs were left with few immediate options except to fight back against the charges by marshalling their political power and delaying any court sentence. "Their policy will be either to prolong the case by agitation, which is not likely, and the other is to change the law to avoid the conviction", said Askari.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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