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How a Microsoft font brought down Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif


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Friday's ouster of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wasn't just a momentous event in the Asian country but also big news for fans of typography.

A key part of the corruption case that led to Mr. Sharif's removal from power hinged on the typeface used in a financial document.

The controversy was therefore dubbed Fontgate and on Friday, headline writers and wags on Twitter were saying that Pakistan was now "Sans Sharif."

It all hinged on a document that the Sharif family had produced in an attempt to distance the prime minister from questions about who owned four properties in an upscale part of London.

The document was purported to be written in February 2006 but court-appointed investigators concluded that it was forged, noting that it used the Calibri font, a Microsoft licensed typeface that was not commercially available at the time.

calibri.png

"The said document is fake, fabricated and not worthy of any reliance," Pakistan's Supreme Court said in an April ruling, summarizing the submissions of a lawyer for the opposition party of Imran Khan, which had petitioned for Mr. Sharif's removal.

The case began last year with the disclosure of the Panama Papers, a trove of leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm providing offshore financial services.

The leaked papers revealed connections between the Sharif family and four properties at Avenfield House, a luxury building on Park Lane, in the heart of London's ultrawealthy Mayfair district.

The properties were held by two Panama-based offshore companies. The Supreme Court heard that e-mails and documents showed that the sole shareholder of the two companies was Mr. Sharif's daughter, Maryam.

She produced a letter dated Feb. 2, 2006, stating that she was just the trustee of those assets, on behalf of her brother Hussain.

However, an investigative team set up by the court ordered a forensic analysis of the letter. They found that the trust deed was produced in the Calibri font.

Calibri, which was commissioned by Microsoft for its Windows operating system, began appearing in pre-release "beta" versions in 2004 that were being tested by professionals.

However, it was not commercially available until Jan. 31, 2007, the investigating team said in its report.

The connection between the properties and Maryam would be fatal for the prime minister because, as opposition lawyers argued in court, in his mandated asset declarations, he had listed her as a dependent but had not disclosed the London penthouses.

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At least, something good from Microsoft jajaja I mean, thanks to them, it was discoverd the letter was fake XD !!! 

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