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Panamagate Case: Case concerns whole nation as PM is defendant, says judge

ISLAMABAD: The larger bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed hearing of the Panama Papers case against the family members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, ARY News reported.

Shahid Hamid, the counsel of Mariam Nawaz, today submitted documents in the court with regard to the property purchased in the name of his client.

The bench of the apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also included Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan, hearing the case.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed during the hearing observed that the case challenges Nawaz Sharif’s hold on the prime minister’s office.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who heads the bench that this case concerns the whole nation because the defendant is the prime minister of the country.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, the counsel of the prime minister,informed the court that arguments on the London flats will be delivered by Maryam Nawaz’s counsel, Shahid Hamid.

He also told the court that the counsel will also provide the dates and legal papers of the properties bought in Maryam’s name.

Justice Khosa asked if the father bought the land in the daughter’s name. To this, the counsel said that the father purchased the land in the name of his daughter and when Mariam paid the amount the property was transferred to her.

Prime Minister’s counsel read out a verdict given by Justice Khosa in a previous benami transaction case.

Justice Ejaz Afzal observed that the verdicts cited by Khan pertained to cases where a dispute arose between two parties regarding the ownership of property.

In the current case, the dispute is not about which of the two parties owns the property, he added.

Justice Afzal, talking on case details, said that the prime minister first gave his daughter money. Then when she returned the amount, she received property in return. He observed that this occurrence made it appear as though Maryam Nawaz was dependent on her father at the time.

Justice Khosa observed that in this case, the matter also involves benami transactions.

Justice Gulzar stated that a verdict on Maryam Nawaz’s status as a dependent could be made on the basis of the facts presented in court.

He added that the matter of her dependence is of concern and that facts should be provided on the matter.

Makhdoom Ali Khan reiterated that Maryam Nawaz is financially independent. The premier’s daughter’s assets show how she finances herself, Khan argued, adding that her counsel, Shahid Hamid, would present more evidence on the matter.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, the counsel of the prime minister, in his arguments on Wednesday said that the applicants have levelled fake tax evasion charges against the prime minister. The counsel maintained that until government institutions submit their individual investigation reports, under Article-184, Panama case could not be heard.


THE PANAMA PAPERS 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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