Panama Case: Supreme Court refuses PTI plea to reject Qatari Letter
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court bench once again refused to accept Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) counsel Naeem Bukhari’s request for rejecting a letter of Qatari Prince, during hearing of the Panama Papers case against the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday, ARY News reported.
A larger bench of the apex court comprising five judges – Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan in remarks during the hearing said that the papers submitted by the Sharif family are incomplete and their lawyers have to answer several questions.
PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari gave arguments to prove the Qatari letter as fake. He said if the court rejects this letter Hussain Nawaz’s claim of the ownership of London flats will effectively end. Justice Azmat Saeed in his remarks said that removal of the letter of Qatari Prince will create a gulf in the case, so as the court could not reject the letter for now.
PTI counel when argued about the Hudaibiya Case and Ishaq Dar’s confessional statement about money laundering the bench told him, “Mr. Bukhari you are going out of parameters of the case, which is bound to the London apartments.”
The bench during the arguments praised Naeem Bukhari on some occasions, while criticize on others. Justice Asif Khosa during the hearing addressing the PTI counsel said that your are providing good assistance to the bench. On another occasion Justice Azmat Saeed said Mr. Bukhari, your are not responding to our legal queries, advising him not to flirt with legal questions. On another occasion Justice Khosa addressing the PTI counsel said you have talked about London flats in the case now you have jumped to the confession of Ishaq Dar. Justice Azmat Saeed while addressing the counsel said that the offence for which you are seeking disqualification of Mr. Dar has not been proved against him.
The apex court this morning resumed the hearing of the Panamagate case after prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz submitted her reply in the last proceedings on Friday.
Counsel of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Naeem Bukhari, during his reply in the court on Monday, said discussion on beneficial ownership of London flats was vital and also furnished evidence to corroborate his claims.
He said enough evidences were at hand to prove Maryam Nawaz’s ownership of the London properties. Mr. Bukhari contended before the court that Maryam and Hussain Nawaz were directors of the Hudaibiya Papers Mills in 1997.
However, Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that pertinent question relates to 12 million dirhams.
In one of the previous hearings, counsel of PM’s children had submitted a letter from Qatari Prince Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani to the top court’s larger bench.
The letter addressing the apex court states that in 1980, Mian Muhammad Sharif (Nawaz Sharif’s father) invested 12 million Dirhams in the Al Thani company belonging to the Qatari prince’s father. “In the year 2006, the accounts in relation to the above investment were settled between Hussain Nawaz Sharif and Al Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies referred in para 4 above to a representative of Hussain Nawaz Sharif,” the letter read.
Maryam Nawaz rejects allegations
“I am not a beneficiary of Sharif family’s property,” claimed Maryam, in a reply filed through her counsel, and referred herself as only a trustee and signatory of the offshore companies at the centre of the case.
Maryam maintained that as a trustee, she could only run businesses of the trust in case of the death of a current trustee.
Maryam Nawaz’s counsel had said that four references are being heard against the prime minister whereas a reference has also been filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had asked in the previous hearing whether the same case is under proceeding in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on which Hamid replied that the applications were first filed in the election commission.
The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
Three of Sharif’s four children are named in the Panama Papers — daughter Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor, and sons Hasan and Hussain — with the records showing they owned London real estate through offshore companies administered by Mossack Fonseca.
The Panama Papers have whipped up a storm of controversy over offshore wealth, ensnaring political leaders, sports figures and underworld members across the globe in the scandal.