ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party’s legal team has started collecting evidence of alleged corruption against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family in the wake of the Panama leaks scandal.
The legal team consisting some of the country’s top lawyers has started its homework to prove the premier guilty on corruption charges. Aitzaz Ahsan, Latif Khosa, Farooq H Naek and Nayyar Bukhari are the legal eagles on the mission.
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“It is not an easy task but we have started working on it and we will hold another special meeting this week to consider these matters,” Bukhari said while speaking with The Express Tribune.
He said the legal team would suggest to the party leadership the forums to be approached against the Sharif family. Ultimately, the PPP leaders would decide about the utilisation of evidence collected by the team.
Bukhari would also file an application in the National Assembly and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), seeking the complete asset details of PM Nawaz.
Talking to reporters at the Supreme Court, Khosa said the legal team was utilising all resources to gather evidence of mega corruption against the prime minister and his family. “The corruption of Sharifs revealed in Panama Papers lies under the offence of money laundering, smuggling as well as criminal offence,” he said.
He added the legal team was examining the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, wherein nine members of the Sharif family, including Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, were accused of laundering up to Rs642.7 million.
Khosa said the 45-page confessional statement of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar recorded before the Lahore district magistrate on April 25, 2000, was also being examined.
The team is contacting cyber and financial crime experts, seeking their assistance in collecting material through which money laundering charges could be proven.
Khosa also rejected the terms of references (ToRs) of the proposed Panama leaks inquiry commission, saying any probe must be through forensic audits. He claimed the government intentionally drew such complicated ToRs so the commission could not conclude its probe even in the next 50 years.
Top lawyer Asma Jahangir recommended that instead of constituting a commission, a parliamentary panel should investigate the Panama leaks while the ToRs should mention PM and opposition leader’s names.
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Talking to reporters, she urged all institutions to start self-accountability.
She added lawyers were keenly observing when the judiciary would take action against a judge, whose name has been included in the Panama leaks.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.
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