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Panama Case: Sharifs submit another Qatari letter in court

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has resumed the hearing of high profile Panamagate Case on Thursday, ARY News reported.

A five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, also including Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan, is hearing the case against the family members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Lawyer representing Hassan and Hussain Nawaz produced another letter of the Qatari prince in today’s hearing of the case.

The letter was dated 22nd December and had replied to the questions raised after the first letter.

The new letter also describes the business of the Qatari Prince and touches Dubai Steel Mills issue. The letter stated that investment of Sharif family in Qatar was made in cash as per the requirement of the Qatari business norms. It
also mentioned that $ eight million were outstanding with respect to the business of Sharif family in year 2005. The payment was made in the form of Nielson and Nescol shares.

The prime minister’s sons also disclosed the details of Dubai Steel Mill and their business with Qatari prince. They stated that Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani’s business is spread all over the world.

The reply also mentioned that Dubai Steel Mill was built with the cooperation of banks and Dubai Government.

Hassan and Hussain Nawaz also submitted the documents of the sale and purchase of Azizia Steel Mill in Saudi Arabia and the factory in Dubai.

During the hearing the bench termed the petitions in the public interest and said that the citizens of Pakistan want to know the truth of the matter.

The judges made the observation when Mariam Nawaz lawyer Shahid Hamid in his arguments also discussed the issue of the jurisdiction of the court.

The bench said that all options are open with the court.

Shahid Hamid also gave judicial references of cases against the opposition parties and said that Imran Khan had welcomed the military coup of Musharraf. Justice Khosa observed that Qazi Hussain Ahmed had also welcomed the coup. These are past things let the bygone be bygone.

Justice Ijaz remarked that the lawyers are changing their defence.

Shahid Hamid when asked the court for appointment of an amicus curiae to assist the court. Justice Khosa replied that the plea is above the understanding of the bench as counsels of all parties are pleading in a best way.

In the previous hearing, senior counsel Shahid Hamid — appearing on behalf of Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Capt Mohammad Safdar — stated that Hussain Nawaz has two marriages and seven children and to distribute assets amongst his heirs, Maryam Nawaz was made a trustee.

The SC bench questioned, in that case, why Maryam Nawaz never mentioned her being the trustee in a televised interview?

He added Captain Safdar had submitted statements of Maryam Nawaz along with the nomination papers in the Election Commission and that there was no question of any disqualification because tax returns were not filed.

Earlier, Hamid submitted Maryam Nawaz’s reply again in the court with her signatures.

The court also shed light on an email of Maryam Nawaz in which she admitted in 2004 that she was the beneficiary owner of two offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll.

“The documents reveal everything. Should we confirm her signatures?” asked the court.

“The court can assess Maryam Nawaz’s signatures. The documents related to her name contain fake signatures.”

The Panamagate scandal

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.

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