Pakistan court acquits PM Sharif, brother in money laundering case

A Pakistani court on Friday cleared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of all charges pertaining to a money laundering case filed 14 years ago.

IANS| Updated: Sep 19, 2014, 15:52 PM IST

Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Friday cleared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of all charges pertaining to a money laundering case filed 14 years ago.

During a hearing presided over by Justice Anwar Ahmed at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court, the Sharif brothers were acquitted of all corruption charges, including possession of illegal assets, Dawn online reported.

Justice Ahmed said the cases were pending for 14 years and not a single witness had appeared in court.

Terming the charges against the Sharif family as politically motivated, the court said these had no factual bases.

In 2000, the Pervez Musharraf-led government had prepared a money laundering case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif.

According to the case files, the Sharif brothers had used the Hudaibya Paper Mills as a cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

The ruling comes at a favourable time when the embattled Nawaz Sharif is struggling to hold his own with the protesting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) demanding his resignation and calling his government the outcome of a rigged election.