WORLD

Pakistani court rejects Sharif's review petition

PAKISTANI COURT REJECTS SHARIFS REVIEW PETITION

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's review petition against his disqualification from office over the Panama Papers scandal.

In a short judgment, the five-member bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, which disqualified Sharif from holding public office in July, rejected arguments made by Sharif's lawyers that their client was denied justice and right to fair trial.

The court also rejected separate review petitions filed by Sharif's two sons, daughter, son-in-law and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar over the opening of corruption and money laundering cases against them.

The judgment means Sharif cannot return to politics barring a constitutional amendment.

Sharif, 67, had resigned after being disqualified from office by the Supreme Court on July 28. The court ruled that he had acted in an untrustworthy manner by failing to declare a salary from his son's Dubai-based company ahead of the 2013 election.

The court also ordered the opening of corruption cases against Sharif and family members over revelations stemming from the Panama Papers scandal.

Sharif, who has held office as prime minister on three separate occasions but never completed a full term, has already been summoned to appear before an anti-corruption court on Sept. 19. However, the former premier, who is currently in London to with his sick wife, is unlikely to appear before the court.

He has already designated his wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is fighting cancer, to run for his seat in parliament in a by-election in Lahore next month.

Sharif maintains his innocence and has rejected all accusations of financial irregularity. He has repeatedly said that all transactions made by his family members were fair and in accordance with the law.

In April 2016, Sharif's eldest son, Hussain Nawaz, admitted in an interview with a local Pakistani channel that his family owned offshore companies and apartments in London.

He insisted the transactions were all legal and refused to make his assets public, claiming that such a move could harm his business interests.

Sharif's right-wing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which won the 2013 election, has accused investigators of harassing and pressuring witnesses.

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