Pakistan SC hears Sharif’s appeal against ouster

The Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing an appeal by deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against his disqualification on grounds of dishonesty.

On July 28, Sharif had been disqualified by the country’s top court for not declaring income from his son, following investigations into the Panama Papers.

“Five judges of the Supreme Court today have begun hearings of the appeal presented by Sharif, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dhar,” judicial spokesperson Mohamed Ishtiaq told Efe.

The spokesperson said that one of the points in Sharif’s appeal was that two of the five judges that had issued the disqualification verdict had in an earlier sentence found him guilty.

“How can they disqualify him on two occasions on different grounds? This is the defence’s question,” said Ishtiaq.

Asif Saeed Khosa, who leads the five-judge bench in the appeal – the same five judges that disqualified him – argued that the content of the sentence was different but both reached the same conclusion, according to Dawn.

Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Haris claimed that the trial was not a fair one as his client did not get an opportunity to explain himself before the court.

At the same time, an anti corruption court on Wednesday issued a summons for Sharif and his children Hasan, Husain and Maryam to appear before it on Tuesday regarding three cases related to ownership of property at an exclusive zone in London; the creation of the firms Azizia Steel and Hill Metal; and the Flagship investment firm, as well as another 15 companies.

Besides disqualifying the three-time Prime Minister, the Supreme Court ordered the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption body, to file cases against Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

On July 28, Sharif was dismissed by the Supreme Court and stepped down after a probe into the Panama papers scandal revealed he had not declared income received from a firm owned by his son in Dubai.

The Panama Papers revealed in April 2016 that three of his four children had set up offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands through which they owned property in London, leading the top court to order an investigation after a year of protests by the opposition.

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