Published:  12:27 AM, 18 July 2017

Pakistan court assesses PM wealth claims

Pakistan court assesses PM wealth claims Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's Supreme Court is considering corruption allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, amid mounting pressure over his family's wealth.

The move comes after investigators said his family had failed to account for the source of its financial assets. The probe began when the Panama Papers leaks linked his children to offshore companies used to buy London flats. This fuelled suspicion the companies were used to launder ill-gotten wealth, claims Mr Sharif strenuously denies.

He says the properties in London were acquired legitimately and that he personally does not own them. But the issue is turning into a major challenge to him. Opposition groups accuse his family of using their political influence to amass wealth by unlawful means and are calling on him to resign. So far Sharif has refused, calling the investigators' report a compilation of "allegations and assumptions".

 His decision to stay in power was endorsed by the federal cabinet last week. Hundreds of security personnel have been deployed around the Supreme Court, parts of which have also been fenced with barbed wire.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), set up in April, says it has found "significant gaps/disparity among the known and declared sources of income and the wealth" accumulated by Sharif and his family.

It accuses Mr Sharif of concealing assets, overstating the wealth of his father with the aim of justifying his family's wealth, and of not reflecting in his wealth statement an "exorbitant hike" in his family's wealth.

-BBC



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