ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court resumed hearing of Panamagate Case on Friday, Maryam Nawaz – daughter of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – filed her response, rejecting all the allegations of the opposition parties in the case.
Senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja, the newly-engaged counsel of PM’s children, Maryam, Hussain, and Hasan, appeared in the court and presented Maryam’s answers in front of a five-member larger SC bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan as its members.
“I am not a beneficiary of Sharif family’s property,” claimed Maryam Nawaz while terming 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.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari continued his arguments against the Sharif family on Friday, mainly targeting Maryam Nawaz but failed to impress the bench.
“Your points have not been able to maintain a link that Maryam Nawaz is a dependent child of PM,” the top court told Bukhari.
However, the bench hinted at calling members of the prime minister’s family to examine whether they would abide by the stance they had taken on four London flats in their previous statements.
In reply, Bukhari informed the court that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) sought details of offshore companies from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
“Mossack Fonseca told ICIJ that flats in London’s upscale Mayfair locale have not been rented,” and also revealed Maryam Nawaz was residing in those flats with her family.
The court enquired about when and how London flats were transferred to Maryam and sought documentary evidence in support of the claim.
If they (PM’s children) own the companies, it was their responsibility to support the claims through proofs, it added.
The Panamagate case hearing today was later adjourned until Monday, next week.
On Thursday, PM Nawaz Sharif also submitted details of the official positions he held during his political career on courts order and shared copies of his response with the lawyers of the opposition.
SC says Sharif family has to establish money trail: PTI
Leaders of PTI were confident and positive on Friday that the Panama Papers Leaks case would come to its logical conclusion in the coming week and that the nation would soon hear good news.
PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry, while speaking to media outside the top court reiterated PTI’s stance that Maryam Nawaz was a beneficiary of Minerva Trust & Corporate Services Ltd and rejected her assertion of being a trustee only.
Meanwhile, Chief of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed, also one of the applicants in the case, was hopeful that the Supreme Court would close the case in January.
The new SC bench made it clear on December 4 that it would not grant any adjournment on any pretext and would hear it on a day-to-day basis.
‘Not PML-N, Imran Khan has been trapped in Panamagate’
Reacting to the new developments in the case hearing on Friday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Talal Chaudhry said that almost half of the case was solved with the help of the arguments PTI’s lawyer made in the court.
He said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had been lying in his rallies and now he was trapped in the Panama Papers Leaks case because of the same lies he made in the courtroom this time.
The PML-N continued that people must pray for Imran Khan during Friday prayers.