ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani anti-corruption court has issued a bailable arrest warrant against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday in connection with two cases related to the Panama Papers leak.
This came after Sharif failed to appear before the court in two graft cases namely the Flagship Investment case and the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment case.
Sharif is in London with his wife Kalsum as she undergoes cancer treatment, and has not returned to Pakistan since he was indicted in the corruption allegations earlier this month, despite reports he would do so.
But his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar appeared before the court. His lawyer Khawaja Haris asked the court to exempt him from appearing.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, registered three cases against the ousted Prime Minister, his children and son-in-law in the Accountability Court following a verdict by the Supreme Court, which disqualified him after an investigation into corruption allegations against his family.
Last week, the court had indicted Sharif and his daughter over allegations linked to ownership of London properties, opening a trial that could see the former leader jailed.Follow @gorkhapost
Former French leader Sarkozy held over Libyan funding inquiry
PARIS — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was held in custody on Tuesday and questioned by magistrates investigating whether late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi helped finance his 2007 election campaign, an official in the French judiciary said.
It is the second major judicial investigation to fall on the 63-year-old, who served as president from 2007-2012. He already faces trial on separate charges of illicit spending overruns during his failed re-election campaign in 2012.
A lawyer for Sarkozy could not immediately be reached for comment. The former president has dismissed the Libya allegations as “grotesque” and a ‘crude manipulation’.
France opened an inquiry into the Libya case in 2013, after reports by French website Mediapart based on claims by a Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, who said he had transferred 5 million euros ($6 million) from Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi to Sarkozy’s campaign director.
Months after he took office in 2007, the French leader came in for criticism for hosting a state visit by Gaddafi during which the Libyan leader pitched his trademark Bedouin-style tent next to the Elysee Palace.
Gaddafi’s first visit to a Western leader in decades, which was accompanied by the signing of several business deals, came after Sarkozy helped get five Bulgarian nurses accused of infecting children with HIV released from jail in Libya.
Sarkozy was later one of the chief advocates of a NATO-led military campaign that resulted in Gaddafi’s overthrow and killing at the hands of rebel forces in 2011.
French judicial procedure allows for investigators to hold a person for questioning for up to 48 hours, after which the magistrates must say whether they have grounds for turning a preliminary inquiry into a full investigation.Follow @gorkhapost