Panama Papers Verdict: Pakistan Prime Minister is Ordered Removed
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office over accusations of corruption, delivering a ruling that is likely to shift the country’s tumultuous political balance and deal a serious blow to the legacy of a man who helped define the past generation of Pakistani politics.
The removal of Sharif, who was serving his third term in office, comes roughly a year before his term was to end.
The verdict means the governing political party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, must choose an interim prime minister to replace Mr. Sharif until the next general election, which is scheduled for mid-2018.
Announced by the five-member Supreme Court, the verdict caps more than a year of high political drama, breathless court proceedings and a piercing investigation into the finances of the Sharif family.
The charges against Mr. Sharif and three of his children — two sons and a daughter — stemmed from disclosures last year in the Panama Papers, which revealed that the children owned expensive residential property in London through a string of offshore companies.
In their unanimous verdict on Friday, the justices declared that Mr. Sharif was not “honest” and that he, therefore, was “disqualified to be a member of the Parliament.” They also ordered the opening of criminal investigations against the Sharif family.