Pakistan’s anticorruption body has arrested a former top aide to ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged links to a housing scam.
Fawad Hassan’s arrest on July 5 comes a day before a judge was set to announce a verdict against Sharif and his daughter in a high-profile corruption case involving their luxury properties in London.
The National Accountability Bureau said in a statement that it arrested Hassan in the eastern city of Lahore after questioning him for several hours.
Hassan is accused of abusing his position during Sharif’s administration by influencing authorities to award lucrative contracts for a government-run housing program for low-income citizens to a Lahore-based construction company with which he had political connections.
Sharif was removed as prime minister and disqualified from politics for life by the Supreme Court in 2017 over undeclared assets.
Sharif has requested the court delay the verdict until he returns to Pakistan from London, where he is taking care of his ailing wife.
Sharif hasn’t been able to campaign for his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, which is trying to regain power by winning the July 25 elections.
Sharif’s daughter, Maryam, is running for parliament and her conviction would be another blow to the party.
Sharif’s party is facing tough competition from his rival, former cricket captain Imran Khan, whose Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party is gaining ground in opinion polls ahead of the elections.