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Pakistan reopens corruption case against former prime minister

[JURIST] The government of Pakistan said Friday that it has reopened a corruption case [JURIST report] against former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile], the same day that an anti-terrorism court ordered the arrest of his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, in connection with murder charges. Shahbaz Sharif is wanted for allegedly ordering police to kill five men while he was chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province in 1998. A spokesman for the Sharifs' Pakistan Muslim League-N [party website] blasted the charges as politically motivated. The two brothers, who lived in exile after being deposed in a 1999 military coup led by current Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile], were scheduled to return to Pakistan [JURIST news archive] on Monday to challenge Musharraf's re-election bid. Sharif's return was authorized by the Supreme Court in a ruling [JURIST report] last month.

Musharraf has seen his popularity slipping since he implemented a failed bid to remove suspended Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] from office in March for alleged judicial misconduct. Earlier this year Pakistani lawyers led a four-month campaign to reinstate Chaudhry. Many suspected that Chaudhry's dismissal was a pre-emptive move to quash objections to an expected re-election bid by Musharraf. Chaudhry was reinstated in July, with all charges of misconduct [JURIST reports] dismissed. AP has more.

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