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Pakistan Supreme Court rejects former PM Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against ousting

Pakistan Supreme Court rejects former PM Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against ousting
Picture Courtesy: Al Jazeera

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court Friday dismissed an appeal from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his disqualification from the premiership over corruption allegations tied to the Panama Papers leak.

The Supreme Court removed Sharif in late July following an investigation into the allegations against him and his family, making him the 15th premier in Pakistan’s 70-year history to be ousted before completing a full term.

The case against the prime minister stemmed from the Panama Papers leak last year, which spurred a media frenzy over the extravagant lifestyles and high-end London property portfolio of the Sharif dynasty.

“All these review petitions are dismissed,” said Supreme Court justice Asif Saeed Khosa who oversaw the five-member review panel.

In a long-winded appeal demanding that his case be reviewed, Sharif’s legal team presented 19 points challenging the court’s judgement, saying the ruling suffered “from errors floating on the surface”.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau, to open a criminal case against Sharif, his sons — Hussain and Hassan — and his daughter Maryam.

Last month Sharif led legions of supporters from the capital Islamabad to his hometown, Lahore, in a days-long procession that brought thousands into the streets in a show of force.

During the trip Sharif repeatedly blasted the court’s actions, saying the decision was an “insult” to Pakistanis.

The latest ruling comes days ahead of a by-election to fill Sharif’s parliamentary seat in Lahore that is being contested by his wife Kalsum, who is being treated for throat cancer in London.

The seat has long been controlled by Sharif and his allies who consider Lahore to be their political stronghold.

AFP