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October 28, 1999
Sharief may be tried: Musharraf
Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has said former prime minister Nawaz Sharief may face corruption charges.
General Musharraf also said yesterday in an interview with state-run Abu Dhabi Television before leaving the United Arab Emirates after a one-day visit that Sharief was being investigated on other ''legal and financial issues''.
''There are legal and financial issues and issues of corruption. And then there are pressing demands from the Pakistani people regarding holding Nawaz Sharief accountable... Let's allow justice to take its course,'' said Musharraf, according to an Arabic translation of the interview, which was conducted in English.
Asked if there were specific charges against Sharief, Musharraf said, ''There are charges, but they have not been finalised yet. I don't want to go into details on this subject. The investigation is continuing to determine the issues that he was involved in and the extent of that involvement.''
Sharief, ousted in a bloodless coup on October 12, has been detained and is being held in what the army calls ''protective custody'' pending an investigation.
Pakistani newspapers have quoted officials as saying that Sharief has been charged with money laundering to the tune of 40 million dollars, tax evasion of over 60 million dollars, forgery of 10 million dollars and misuse of public funds and his office for personal benefit.
Musharraf said he was committed to a return to civilian rule in Pakistan but refused to set a date, saying he wanted first to deal with the country's economic crisis.
Asked if the return to democracy would take months or years, he said, ''We certainly are not talking about months. But I do not want to comment on years.''
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