ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Monday jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for seven years on corruption charges he says were politically motivated.
The court found the three-time prime minister was unable to prove the source of income for the ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia, Geo News reported. It acquitted him in a second case.
He was arrested after the ruling was announced but can appeal the verdict, under which he was also fined $25 million.
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Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the same court in July, on charges related to the purchase of upscale apartments in London, after the Supreme Court removed him from power.
He appealed that sentence and was released on bail in September.
Sharif has argued that the military, in cahoots with top members of the judiciary, has used a series of cases against him and others in his party to tip the scales in favor of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.
Khan was elected prime minister in July after building a reputation as an anti-corruption crusader.
"They had to punish him and they have punished him in a false case," said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a top leader of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party, who served as prime minister when Sharif was removed from power last year.
"People will not accept this verdict," he said.
Shortly before the announcement of the verdict, clashes erupted between supporters of Sharif and police in Islamabad. Several female supporters of Sharif were seen crying and chanting slogans.
Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has suggested he is being punished for resisting "unseen forces," an apparent reference to the military, which has directly ruled Pakistan for half its modern history and retains a powerful role behind the scenes.