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Pak SC refuses to reopen another graft case against Sharifs

Pakistan’s ousted premier Nawaz Sharif and his family on Friday heaved a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court refused to reopen another corruption case against them.

The three-member bench of Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel rejected an appeal against a 2014 decision of the Lahore High Court that quashed the case for lack of evidence.

The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) had recently filed the appeal to reopen the Rs 1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills case, involving money laundering charges against the Sharif family.

The case was launched in 2000 by former dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The NAB failed to convince the court why it took so long to challenge the high court verdict. The court after several days of hearing the case issued a short order and rejected the appeal to reopen the case.

Friday’s decision is major relief for the Sharif family as it was feared that after his disqualification, his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif, who is the chief minister of Punjab province, could also face the similar fate if the case was reopened.

The case was based on a confessional statement of Sharif’s confidante and current Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who on April 25, 2000 admitted playing role in laundering money to the tune of USD 14.86 million on behalf of the Sharifs through fictitious accounts.

Dar later said that he was forced to record the statement while he was in custody after Sharif’s government was sent packing by former military ruler Musharraf.

Sharif, 67, and some of his family members are already facing corruption charges in the Panama Papers case relating to their ownership of properties in London.

He resigned as prime minister in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him over undeclared income.

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