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Pakistan: Insufficient evidence to oust Sharif in Panama Papers trial

  • 20 April 2017
  • Author: QT1
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Pakistan: Insufficient evidence to oust Sharif in Panama Papers trial


Islamabad (dpa) - Pakistan's top court on Thursday ordered further investigation of money laundering allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but said there was insufficient evidence to remove him from office.

The Supreme Court ordered a new commission to investigate allegations contained in the Panama Papers that Sharif and his family transferred money from Pakistan to Qatar that was later used to buy properties in London.

The five-judge tribunal, which is hearing several petitions against Sharif in the capital Islamabad, said the commission should question the premier and his two sons, one of whom owns the London properties.

Two of the five judges endorsed Sharif's immediate removal from office, but the other three dissented, turning the overall judgment in favour of the premier.

Sharif would present further evidence of his "innocence" to the commission, the prime minister's political aide Khawaja Asif said.

The commission has been asked to finalize its report within two months, one of the judges announced in the courthouse.

Opposition politicians including former cricketing star Imran Khan sought Sharif's ouster after it was revealed in the Panama Papers that his children bought properties in London through offshore companies.

Opponents accused the premier of money laundering during a previous stint in power between 1990 and 1993.

Sharif would step down if charges against him or any member of his family prove true, his political aide Khawaja Saad Rafiq said.

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