A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, resumed hearing on Tuesday (today) in the petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Muslim League (AML).
As the Panamagate case hearing resumed the Sharif family counsel expressed inability to name the owner of two offshore companies, Neilson and Nescoll, which acquired London flats in 1993.
“We don’t know who originally owned the two offshore companies — Nescoll Limited and Neilson Enterprises Limited,” the counsel for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz Salman Akram Raja told a five-judge larger bench of the apex court.
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Admitting that the Sharif family was residing in the Park Lane flats since 1993 as PM Nawaz’s sons were studying in London, the counsel upheld that they purchased the apartments through settlement with a Qatari family in 2006. To this, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that PM’s family must know about the ownership record of both the offshore companies.
“We have no information about the original owner of both the companies,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the larger bench of the apex court, observed. Justice Khosa asked Raja that he may ask the Qatari family how they got the London flats and further directed the counsel to present record of his clients’ education in the UK.
The top court judge also observed that the repurchase of Dubai Steel Mills machinery and Qatari investment were not mentioned by the prime minister in his speeches in the Parliament and to the nation.
In an apparent reference to the remarks made by Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Justice Khosa said one member of the Parliament “in his rude style” commented on the court’s observation. “He said nothing is missing in the PM’s record. Perhaps we could not see that is why we are asking about the omitted facts from you,” the SC judge said.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the entire story is based on Qatari investment but it was not mentioned in the prime minister’s speeches. He expressed wonder that when the whole business was conducted through banking channels in 1980 then why hard cash was given by the Sharif family for investment in Qatar.