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Pakistani Opposition Leader Indicted On Corruption Charges

FILE: Shahbaz Sharif (C), the younger brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the head of Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N), waves to supporters during an election campaign meeting in Karachi, June 2018.

A Pakistani anti-graft tribunal has indicted opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif on charges he misused his power to benefit a factory owned by his family while he was the head of a provincial government.

Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz were both indicted during a brief court hearing in Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province, on April 9.

The father and son, who will now face trial, denied any wrongdoing and said the charges were politically motivated.

In February, Sharif was charged with abusing his office as the chief minister of Punjab from 2013 to 2018.

In that ongoing case, he was accused of influencing authorities to award contracts for a government-run housing program for low-income citizens to a company with which he had political affiliations.

Sharif is the younger brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was removed from office by the Supreme Court in 2017 over corruption allegations.

A court in July sentenced the former leader and his daughter to 10-year and seven-year terms in prison, respectively, over the purchase of luxury apartments in London in the 1990s.

They have denied wrongdoing, with Sharif suggesting collusion between the country’s powerful military and courts to throw him out of power.

Based on reporting by AP and Dawn