Nawaz Sharif, whose party recently pulled out of Pakistan's ruling coalition, is about to face corruption charges, Pakistani prosecutors said today. A two-time prime minister whom Pervez Musharraf deposed in 1999, Sharif will be charged with money laundering and loan defaults, as well as "the accumulation of wealth beyond his known sources of income." Sharif's lawyer called the charges politically motivated.
Sharif has faced these accusations before, but a court had indefinitely suspended the charges. The move to prosecute Sharif comes days before Pakistan's parliament votes for a new president. The leading candidate for president is Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widower, with whom Sharif has feuded over the reinstatement of judges sacked by Musharraf. Zardari has also faced corruption allegations, which he feared those judges might reinstate.