Pakistani Court Refuses to Club Sharif’s Graft Cases

A Pakistani court dismissed on Wednesday a plea made by ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to club three corruption cases into one.

Nawaz Sharif December 2014 copy copyNawaz Sharif (Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development, CC BY 2.0)Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar appeared before the accountability court in Islamabad as the hearing resumed into charges filed under the directives of the Supreme Court that are related to revelations from the Panama Papers.

After the judge announced the rejection, he read out the three charges to Sharif separately. Sharif pleaded “not guilty” to all three of them.

Sharif expressed his concern that the six-month deadline the Supreme Court had given for the charges to be wrapped up was not enough time. The judge argued six months is enough if the cases were heard simultaneously.

“This investigation was done in bad faith and is politically motivated,” Nawaz said during the hearing. “I am being denied the right to a fair and just trial,” he added.

A day before, the Supreme Court issued a 23-page detailed verdict on Sharif’s complaint about the July 28 verdict. The Supreme Court said the ousted prime minister never appeared in front of the court with the whole truth.

“He tried to fool the people inside and outside Parliament. He even tried to fool the court without realizing that you can fool all the people for some time, some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” said the 23-page judgment.

Imran Khan, the head of Pakistan’s opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf, hailed Tuesday the Supreme Court decision, adding that Maryam Nawaz’s ownership of apartments in London had been proven. Sharif’s complaint was another try to “fool parliament, the court & the people,” he tweeted.