Pakistan’s Top Court Rules Prime Minister Can Stay In Power

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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

The opposition accuses Sharif of failing to explain the source of money in offshore companies owned by his children and of lying to parliament

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) — Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered further investigations into corruption allegations leveled by the opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying there was insufficient evidence to order his removal from office.

The court late last year launched an investigation into Sharif’s family’s offshore wealth after opposition politicians threatened to launch street protests.

The opposition accuses Sharif of failing to explain the source of money in offshore companies owned by his children and of lying to parliament. Sharif and his family have denied wrongdoing.

Police in riot gear on Thursday surrounded Pakistan’s highest court in the capital, Islamabad, as it prepared to deliver the decision that could unseat Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over corruption allegations related to the Panama Papers leaks.

Police barred people from entering the court precincts as a five-member bench prepared to hand down the highly anticipated ruling at 2pm after nearly two months of deliberation and arguments.

Pakistan’s stock market rose nearly 250 points on Thursday, after having closed up 1.6 per cent the previous day, showing investors are confident the court will not rule Sharif ineligible to be prime minister.

The case against Sharif stems from documents leaked from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm, which appeared to show that his daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies and used them to buy properties in London.

 

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