Panamagate Case: Supreme Court reserves verdict after hearing winds up
ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan reserved its verdict after completion of the high profile Panamagate Case hearing against the family members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ARY News reported on Thursday.
The bench comprises of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan, reserved its judgement in the case after PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari and Shaikh Rashid concluded their arguments in the case today.
The court said that it will not be issuing a short order in the case but will release a full judgment at an appropriate time.
Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) counsel Naeem Bukhari started his arguments before the bench. The lawyer when raised his point about Gulf Steel Mills arrears, Justice Azmat Saeed Shaikh asked him not to repeat his previous argument.
Naeem Bukhari in his arguments before the bench cited the decision given by the court in the case of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani to which the court replied that the decision had been taken in response to a contempt of court petition against the premier.
“This is also a petition filed against a Prime Minister who concealed his assets,” Bukhari argued.
Justice Ijaz Afzal remarked that both sides had submitted documents which could not be verified through authentic sources. Referring the documents bearing the signature of Maryam Nawaz the judge remarked that the papers were termed fake by her while the PTI claims they were genuine.
” Can these documents be considered as evidence? The court has always taken decisions keeping in mind uncontroversial acts,” Justice Ijaz Afzal remarked.
Before concluding his arguments, PTI counsel said that the Qatari prince had not been mentioned before in the speeches of the Prime Minister. He said that since 1980 to 2004, the Qatari prince was acting as a bank,” the lawyer said. “The Qatari Prince has said that he has paid the liability. How was such a huge amount transferred without a bank?, he asked.”
Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali in his arguments on Wednesday said that he had taken a look at records and concluded that Sharifs had borrowed loan on foreign currency accounts.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the court had been told earlier that investments had been made with the Qatari Prince and no foreign currency account had been mentioned. He advised the Attorney General to assist the court and avoid to become a party in the case.
The Attorney General also argued that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case should be kept aside from the Panama Papers case due to the different nature of the two cases.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that if the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case was not based on facts, why he was trying to avoid it? He said the NAB had died before us yesterday.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in a remark in a previous hearing said that the hearing of the case would most probably be completed by Thursday.
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.