Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”
The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”
Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)
A global anti-corruption watchdog says the United States has dropped four spots in its list of nations’ anti-corruption efforts and is now no longer listed in the top 20 for the first time.
Acting U.S. Representative at Transparency International, Zoe Reiter, calls a four point drop in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) a “red flag.”
She says it comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.”
“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally,” Reiter says.
The United States scored a 71 in the perceptions index after scoring 75 the previous year.
“The expert opinion captured by the CPI supports the deep concern over corruption in government reported by America in our 2017 survey. Both experts and the public believe the situation is getting worse,” Reiter said.
Transparency International uses several criteria for measuring how well a country is fighting corruption, including checks and balances on political power, controls on conflicts of interest and private influence on government, and voter suppression.