Pakistan’s ex-premier appears in court on corruption charges


ISLAMABAD — Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appeared along with his daughter and her husband before an anti-graft court in Islamabad to face a trial over corruption charges.

The three are co-accused in three corruption cases stemming from documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm.

The court heard arguments from Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris and state prosecutor about merging the three corruption references against the accused. The court reserved its decision and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.

The former premier, his daughter and son-in-law left the court after the counsel completed his arguments.

The counsel for Sharifs is currently in the court as prosecution presents its arguments on the matter after a 15-minute break.

While arguing for the consolidation of the three corruption references, Haris read out the charge sheets from the corruption cases.

He said the charges leveled against the Sharifs are common in all three references. The references relate to different assets but all three name the same persons as accused.

Meanwhile, state prosecutor Malik argued against the petition to club the three references, saying every case has its own facts.

The references were separated due to different crimes and transactions but the primary accused is common in all three references, he said.

Shortly before Sharif’s arrival in court, Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said Sharif’s hands were clean and he is not afraid to face the charges. The 67-year-old Sharif was dismissed from office by the Supreme Court in July for allegedly concealing assets abroad and other corruption allegations.

He was indicted last month and has pleaded not guilty. — Agencies