Panamagate: Maryam’s counsel claims she owned London flats for 6 months

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  • Judges order NAB, FBR to submit record of 17-year-old Hudaibiya Paper Mills investigation on next hearing

ISLAMABAD: The Sharif Family Thursday filed new documents in Supreme Court regarding ownership of London flats as the apex court resumed it hearing into the Panama Papers case.

The counsel for the Sharif family Salman Akram Raja admitted before the apex court that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz owned four flats in Mayfair, London for at least six months from February to July 2006.

A five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is hearing the case on daily basis. Other bench members are Justice Ejaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.

He claimed, however, that in July, the shares were registered in the name of Minerva Services Limited, a company which the premier’s family previously identified as a “service provider” to Nielsen and Nescoll – offshore companies owned by the PM’s son Hussain Nawaz.

Upon this, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh called for documentary evidence which could show the authorised representatives of Minerva Services. In his response, the Sharifs’ counsel said Minerva was authorised by a trustee service company which is now owned by the PM’s son.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan expressed his surprise that the Sharif family seem to have acquired expensive apartments in London without any documentary evidence to establish ownership or a money trail for the purchases.

Khosa said that the ruling family was making a gamble which could go either way. He added that what would be the spirit of accountability if the Sharifs failed to produce the necessary documents in court.

The counsel argued that the apex court cannot give a direct verdict against the ruling family until due process is followed at the relevant forum. “The SC is not the proper forum to give a declaration against [them],” Raja said.

After Raja concluded his arguments, the top court later summoned the NAB and FBR chairmen to submit the complete record of the 17-year-old Hudaibiya Paper Mills investigation into the Sharifs during the next hearing, which is scheduled for February 21.