Panamagate case: Sharifs to prove how they came to own properties abroad

  • Maryam Nawaz submits reply, says she is not ‘beneficial owner’
  • Bench adjourns hearing till Monday

The Panamagate case hearing continued consecutively for the third day here at Supreme Court before a bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Continuing his arguments on ownership of London flats, PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari contended that using Maryam Nawaz’s name as the owner of these properties is just a smokescreen. In reality they are owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself.

Bukhari informed the court that in the last six years the Prime Minister has given more than Rs67 million as gift to his daughter in two instalments. He further argued that Maryam Nawaz had no source of income when those flats were bought.

He also argued that the bench has laid the burden of proof regarding money that was used to buy London flats squarely on the Sharifs.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that the court has the power to ask for documents and evidence. ‘The court is not powerless as far as documents are concerned. We can ask Sharif family to present before us complete records regarding the money used to buy flats in London,’ he remarked.

He also said that failure to establish ownership of Minerva Financial Limited by Sharif family’s counsels, the court will consider claims made by opponents. Justice Khosa also said that the onus of proof lies on the one who is in possession of property.

PTI’s counsel told the court that the investigative organisation was informed that London flats were never rented out and that they are in use of Maryam Nawaz and her family.

Justice Aijaz Afzal asked Bukhari how and when flats were transferred to Maryam Nawaz. ‘Do you have any documentary evidence of transfer of property to Maryam Nawaz?’ he asked. He replied that the onus lies on Maryam Nawaz to prove otherwise by providing documents in her possession.

Maryam Nawaz also submitted her reply through her counsel Shahid Hamid. She denies all allegations and says that she is not the beneficial owner of any property. She said that she is a trustee and a signatory of family companies.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan submitted an interview by finance advisor to Sharif family, Haroon Pasha, on 6th December 2016 as evidence and asked the bench to kindly make it part of record.

The bench was of the opinion that the main question is the presentation of record before the court. Justice Aijaz Afzal remarked that the court is neither conducting an inquiry nor is a trial court.

The court adjourned the hearing till Monday 9th January 2017 when PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari will continue his arguments.