#Fontgate: How a Microsoft font could lead to the removal of Pakistan's Prime Minster

Mashable - 2017-07-13


Pakistan's government is in turmoil after the strange plot twist in an ongoing corruption scandal that has ensnared one of the country's wealthiest and most powerful families - and a Microsoft Word font might just be one of the keys to discovering the truth. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Sharif allegedly submitted forged documents in a judicial investigation into the family's "unusual wealth," according to Reuters. The documents served as a smokescreen of her alleged ownership of valuable properties outside the country. So how did the investigators conclude that the documents were forged? Sharif reportedly used the Microsoft's Calibri font, which wasn't publicly available until 2007, while claiming the documents were created in 2006. As a result, the word Calibri has been dominating headlines in Pakistan, and the font's Wikipedia page has been locked for editing following a surge in interest from people around the world. There is, however, a small chance that the font will not hold up in court as irrefutable evidence that the documents were forgeries. Even though it wasn't widely available until 2007, there were beta versions of the Calibri font available starting in 2005, as Engadget reports. Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn spoke to Calibri creator Lucas de Groot to get his view on the controversy. He found it extremely unlikely that the documents creators were using an early beta - meaning that he thinks the documents were, in fact, forged. The investigation into the Sharif family began following revelations from last year's Panama Papers leak, which nearly caused the PM to be removed from office back in April. Pakistan's judicial investigation team working for the Supreme Court filed its report earlier this week, concluding that the family's wealth tracked far above its earnings, along with the allegations of forgery.