Pakistan

Panamagate Case: PM Nawaz submits response to questions posed by SC

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday submitted details of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s official positions he held during his political career after the Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed hearing of the infamous ‘Panama Papers Leaks Case’, and shared copies of the response with the lawyers of the opposition in the case.

On the second consecutive day of case hearing, Makhdoom Ali Khan, the newly-engaged lawyer of premier submitted a detailed response on PM Sharif’s behalf.

On Wednesday, a five-member SC bench had asked PM’s lawyer to inform the court about the timeline when Nawaz Sharif became PM twice, Punjab chief minister, a provincial minister, and when he was out of the country during years in exile.

 

The court sought details regarding how the Sharif family made investments in Qatar and raised properties in London.

“You have to prove that the money obtained by selling Gulf Steel remained in prime minister’s account,” Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan told Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari and added, “If you failed, we will have issues.”

The court continued that it seemed so, a 12 million dirhams sum of money – from the sale of Gulf Steel – were never spent in two decades.

Giving arguments over the Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani’s letter, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif never mentioned any such letter in his statements.

Bukhari claimed that the Qatari Prince letter was nothing but a deception and urged the bench to exclude it from the case proceedings, a plea the court refused to accept later.

“PM’s children are depending on this letter and their stance will have no legal weight without it,” said Justice Khosa.

 

Bukhari replied that it was not possible for a grandfather to transfer all property to one of his grandsons.

“We are evaluating Qatari Prince letter not anyone’s legal heir in this case,” said the SC bench. However, the court also maintained that the letter seemed like a memoir of someone.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and son-in-law changed their lawyers, while PTI submitted a set of additional documents to the court.

Senior lawyer Salman Aslam Butt was replaced by Makhdoom Ali Khan to defend the premier. Likewise, senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja appeared on behalf of Prime Minister’s children, Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Hasan Nawaz in today’s hearing.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar formed the SC bench comprising SC judges– Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan – last year to hear the case.

The new SC bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa made it clear on Wednesday that it would not grant any adjournment on any pretext and would hear it on a day-to-day basis from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, till the conclusion of the case.

The Panamagate case hearing has been adjourned until Friday.

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