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Pakistan court indicts former PM and family on corruption charges

[JURIST] Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile], his daughter and his son-in-law were indicted by an anti-corruption court on Thursday in connection to leaks that show his family had several offshore shell companies and his purchase of several high-end pieces of property in London.

The leaked documents suggested [Reuters report] that Sharif's children had offshore assets that were not disclosed in the family's wealth statement and led to further investigation by a Joint Investigation Team, composed of officials from the Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau, State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan [official websites], among others.

This is the first time in Pakistan history that a former head of the country has been indicted on corruption charges. Sharif and his family have responded to the indictment by calling the proceedings a conspiracy and speculated that the action was being promoted by the Pakistani military while his opponents have praised the court's action.

Sharif's lawyer indicated [NPR report] that the family entered pleas of not guilty and intends to take the matter to trial.

Sharif resigned from office [JURIST report] in July after the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a unanimous ruling [order, PDF] disqualifying him from office.

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