Pakistan

Panamagate Case: PM, children challenge legality of PTI’s documentary evidence

pm-nawaz-sharif

ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court of Pakistan entered another day hearing the infamous Panamagate Papers Leaks case on Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children challenged the legality of PTI’s documentary evidence in the court.

The Supreme Court sought details regarding the purchase of London flats with documentary evidences.

On Thursday, the court observed that would it only hear the Panamagate case about the acquisition of foreign properties by Sharif family and not scrutinise the premier’s entire life.

“We are not going to open the entire life of the PM to scrutinise,” said Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

The statement came after PTI’s legal team and Hamid Khan could not impress the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

Senior lawyer Akram Sheikh submitted objections on behalf of Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Hasan Nawaz – also the main accused in the case – saying the evidences provided by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were insufficient to disqualify the premier.

PTI’s claim that PM Nawaz should be held disqualified because Hussain Nawaz owned flats in London was baseless, said the newly-engaged lawyer.

The Sharif family’s lawyer urged the court that on the basis of irrelevant and absurd evidences that also includes newspaper cuttings, the PTI’s application against the prime minister should be rejected.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer, Salman Aslam Butt, also raised an objection in the court on his behalf against the evidences of PTI and insisted that the apex court must rebuff Imran Khan’s corruption allegations against his client, saying the evidences were simply not acceptable.

A five-member larger SC bench headed by Chief Justice Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali adjourned the hearing until November 30.

On Tuesday, Maryam Nawaz had submitted documentary evidence at the country’s top court while Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, both of whom live abroad did not submit supporting evidences for their claims.

During the last hearing, Akram Sheikh also had presented a letter by Qatari prince, dated November 5, 2016, claiming no money was sent abroad.

 

The Panamagate scandal 

Names of several Pakistanis including Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hussain, and Hasan surfaced in one of the world’s biggest ever data leaks through an online searchable database made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in April 2016, following which the prime minister had formed an inquiry commission to probe his family’s alleged links to offshore accounts.

Unfortunately, the federal government and the opposition could not agree on drafting joint Terms of References (ToRs).

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also failed to probe the high-profile case.

The PTI later had said to hold a sit-in in Islamabad on November 2 which was later changed into a ‘celebratory’ rally.

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