LAHORE, Pakistan, March 1 (UPI) -- Shahbaz Sharif, a Pakistani opposition leader and brother of a former prime minister, has been acquitted in the deaths of five youths, a published report said.
The verdict clears the way for Sharif, president of the PML (N) political party, to contest in an upcoming by-election as he seeks to become the chief minister of Punjab province, The Times of India reported Saturday. He had been barred from contesting last month's general election because of the charges against him, the newspaper said.
Shahbaz did not speak to reporters after the verdict. However, his attorney said Shahbaz had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Shahbaz stood trial on charges he ordered five students killed in 1998 in a staged encounter with police near Lahore during his earlier tenure as chief minister, the Times said.