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Pakistani Court Indicts Ex-PM Sharif Over Undisclosed Assets

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

A Pakistani court has indicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, and son-in-law over undisclosed assets abroad.

An accountability court in Islamabad on October 19 indicted Sharif, daughter Maryam Sharif, and her husband, Mohammad Safdar.

A lawyer for Sharif, who is currently in London where his wife is receiving medical treatment, entered a plea of not guilty. His daughter and his son-in-law attended the hearing and also pleaded not guilty.

The Sharifs have called the proceedings against them a conspiracy, hinting at the intelligence services' in the judicial process, while opponents have hailed the case as a rare example of the powerful being held accountable.

Outside the court, Maryam Sharif said the trial was "a repeat of 1999" -- the year her father was toppled in a military coup led by former military chief Pervez Musharraf. Sharif was prime minister twice in the 1990s.

Imran Khan, the leader of the Tehreek-i-Insaf opposition party, described the court decision as "another phenomenal victory for the people of Pakistan."

The allegations against Sharif and his family stem from the Panama Papers leaks in 2016, indicating that Sharif and his family owned offshore holding companies and used them to buy flats in London.

Sharif, 67, resigned in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office and ordered the National Accountability Bureau to investigate his family’s wealth and conduct a trial.

On October 13, the court in Islamabad delayed the indictment of the trio following clashes between their supporters and police outside the court.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters