Pakistan's Supreme Court has rejected a bid to disqualify opposition politician Imran Khan for concealing his financial assets, a charge that could have barred him from holding public office.
The three-judge bench said it found no evidence that Khan had contravened the law, although the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to investigate whether Khan's Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party had received funding from abroad.
The court disqualified one of Khan’s closest aides, Jahangir Tareen, as a lawmaker because of corruption charges during the same hearing on December 15.
Khan was accused of concealing his financial assets, owning offshore companies, and heading a foreign-aided party.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party filed the petition seeking charges against Khan in November 2016.
The Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from office in July over the concealment of financial assets, forcing him to step down. He has denied any wrongdoing.
If he was found guilty, Khan would have been barred from holding public office, disqualified from upcoming general elections in 2018, and stripped of his membership in the National Assembly. He could also have been banned from leading the PTI.
With reporting by Dawn and Geo TV