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Supreme Court adjourns Panamagate Case hearing

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court larger bench on Friday adjourned hearing of the Panamagate Case till Monday, ARY News reported.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan resumed his arguments before the bench comprising of five judges – Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan. The court hearing the case linked with last year’s Panama Papers disclosures of the offshore wealth of the family members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Makhdoom Ali Khan in his arguments this morning while referring Jahangir Tareen case, said that for disqualification from the public office under Article 62 and 63 of the constitution the person should be convicted from a court of law.

The Prime Minister’s counsel said that for disqualification of a member of assembly substantial evidence is essential. He said rules exist to determine falsehood and misrepresentation of facts. He said the prime minister’s address in national assembly was also challenged in a court in the past.

Justice Shaikh Azmat observed it was the statement, which perhaps given during the sit-in protest. Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the prime minister was also blamed of not speaking the truth at that time.

The Speaker had rejected the reference against the prime minister and the Lahore High Court had declared the Speaker’s decision as lawful.

The Supreme Court had also maintained the high court’s decision and dismissed the petitions against the Speaker, the counsel said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan on Thursday denied that his client had anything to do with the ownership of London flats.

The bench asked Nawaz Sharif’s counsel about a money trail for the flats in London and asked him to prove there were no inconsistencies in the prime minister’s speech in the National Assembly.

The counsel argued that the family business was transferred to son, Hussain Nawaz after the death of Mian Sharif, the PM’s father. The prime minister had nothing to do with it.

Makhdoom Ali Khan told the bench that the Dubai factory was established after taking a loan, the bench asked for presenting documents in court in this respect. The counsel asked the court to form a commission to visit Dubai and review allegations made against the prime minister.

Justice Ijazul Hassan observed that the prime minister had recognised the Dubai mills and said all records are available. Now the burden of proof is upon you, he told the PM’s counsel.

Khan was of the opinion that presenting documents and proof is the petitioner’s job.

In the hearing on Wednesday, counsel of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Naeem Bukhari said that the statements of the prime minister and his children are contradictory.

He also argued that a bearer certificate is not a prize bond, which owned by the person who is possessing it. “According to the law intimation of holding the bearer certificate is necessary, the counsel said. Sharif family have to produce evidence that the Qatari family was holding the bearer certificate, Bukhari further argued.

Bukhari further stated that the bearer certificate was in possession of the Qatari family before 2006 according to the PM’s family. “They have to prove it and also to give proof that their all actions were lawful,” the lawyer said.

The bench on Tuesday remarked that the case was limited to London flats only and the case would go somewhere else if PTI tried to divert attention of the court towards a new angle.

Justice Afzal urged the parties in the case to respect and maintain dignity of the top court.

Justice Khosa in his remarks said that he does not want to go into political matters. “Do you want us to work outside the law?” asked Justice Khosa and clarified, he said, “To prove corruption is not our job.”

BACKGROUND

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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