The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday (today) resumed hearing of the Panama Papers case involving Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
The apex court remarked that there is a contradiction between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statements that were given to the court and those that were made on the floor of the August house.
The larger five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan is conducting the hearing in presence of government representatives, lawyers of petitioners, senior PTI leaders including Imran Khan, AML chief Sheikh Rasheed and media.
During the case proceeding, the chief justice remarked that respondents can change their lawyers if they want.
The court further remarked that use of irresponsible words must be avoided.
Moreover, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that Sharif family members maintain that they have invested 12 million dirhams in Qatar.
He observed that there are discrepancies between the Prime Minister’s documents and his public statements.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) lead counsel Naeem Bukhari before the Supreme Court (SC) alleged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had forged his cousin Tariq Shafi’s signatures on documents.
“I don’t want to say that Shahbaz Sharif forged Tariq Shafi’s signature but there is a difference in the signatures on the affidavit and the contract,”Bukhari said.
It is unclear what documents the counsel was referring to as he presented his arguments before the bench as the Panamagate hearing resumed today after a break of nearly two weeks.
Naeem Bukhari argued that the premier did not mention Qatar investment in his speech.
He was not truthful and honest (Sadiq and Ameen) thus liable to be disqualified from the National Assembly, the PTI lawyer told the court.
Bukhari said that the London flats were bought in 1992 and 1993.
Justice Asif Khosa observed that there was no trace of transfer of money from Pakistan to a foreign country
“There is no uniformity in the signatures” he added.
How did Tariq Shafiq transfer money to Qatar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked.
Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh remarked that the Sharifs had failed to explain how they had cleared the aforementioned dues in 1980. He also observed that the Sharifs had also failed to explain how they had financed the construction of Jeddah Steel Mills.
He said that the documents might be available everywhere but they have not been submitted to the court.
He noted that London flats were purchased through Qatar investment, however, there is no clarification regarding funding for Jeddah steel mill.
He said that the documents also don’t mention that the investment was used to purchase the London flats.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) prayed to the court to form the judicial commission at earliest to decide on the matter.
The Sharif family is facing various charges, including money-laundering, setting up of offshore companies illegally and non-declaration of their assets, etc.
However, in a joint reply by the children of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif—Maryam, Hussain Nawaz and Hasan Nawaz – they have submitted their asset details and termed all charges baseless.
As the hearing begun, PTI’s counsel Naeem Bukhari came up for arguments before the bench.
He submitted a two-page summary of a transaction questioning the Sharif family’s investment of Dhs 12 million in Qatar in 1980 despite owing the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) Dhs 14 million.