The Pakistani Supreme Court has disqualified the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his involvement in the “Panama Papers” leaks, Al Jazeera reports.
He was ousted on the grounds that he lied about his assets during a corruption probe, in a ruling that comes after months of hearing.
The ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has a majority in the parliament, will have to nominate another member to lead the government.
A “snap poll” could also be called, although an election to due to hold on August next year.
In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office, it is said that he has stepped down following the ruling:
“Immediately following the [Supreme Court’s] verdict, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has stood down as prime minister. All legal and constitutional options will be exercised regarding our serious differences with this verdict.”
Documents in the Panama Papers leak showed that Sharif’s children owned at least three off-shore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
A document also showed that the companies had secured a mortgage worth $13.2m for properties in London as collateral.
In November 2016, the Supreme Court in the country began hearing to establish if Sharif had committed any wrongdoing by not declaring the properties earlier on tax and parliamentary wealth declarations.
Sharif had said he was not liable to declare the properties as they were held by his children, not him, and so he hadn’t committed any wrongdoing.
Several Nigerian government officials (previous and present) were also implicated the Panama Papers leak.
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