Pakistan court: Insufficient evidence to remove Sharif
Pakistan's Supreme Court has ruled there was insufficient evidence to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over corruption allegations, but has ordered a high-level investigation into the charges, APA reported citing Al Jazeera.
The court issued its verdict on Thursday afternoon in a case based on the "Panama Papers" leaks that was moved by opposition leaders seeking his removal from office.
Sharif's party declared the verdict a victory for his position that he was prepared to face any investigation.
"The Supreme Court has decided … the same thing that Nawaz Sharif himself had decided six months ago, when he ordered the formation of a commission to investigate [the allegations]," Khwaja Asif, a senior leader of Sharif's ruling PML-N party, told reporters outside the courthouse following the announcement.
Sharif will remain in office during the course of the investigation, which will also focus on his sons Hassan and Hussain, the verdict said.
The bench, which was split 3-2 on the judgment, decided that the source of the funds and assets in question had still not been conclusively established, and it is this that the joint investigation team it has formed will focus on.
It was not immediately clear if there were any implications for Sharif's daughter, Maryam, a prominent leader of his ruling PML-N party.
The judges ordered that the investigative body should be formed within seven days, and include representatives from the Federal Investigative Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the central bank, and other bodies. It will submit fortnightly reports to the Supreme Court.
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