ISLAMABAD: As hearing of Panamagate case resumed in the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, the apex court asked the Sharif family to produce documentary evidence to establish prime minister’s son Hussain Nawaz as beneficial owner of Park Lane flats in London, in accordance with the family’s claim.
"Where is the document which could show Hussain Nawaz is the beneficial owner of Landon flats?” Justice Azmat Saeed Shaikh asked Sharif family’s counsel Salman Akram Raja.
The top court judge also asked the Sharifs’ counsel to provide the family’s agreement with Minerva Services Limited, a company which the premier’s family claims is a service provider to Nielsen and Nescoll offshore companies owned by the PM’s son.
“Let’s call a spade a spade and show us relevant documents that could reveal who gave payment to service providing company (Minerva),” Justice Azmat asked.
SC decision will have far-reaching effects on Pakistan’s future, says Imran
Meanwhile, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading a five-judge larger bench of the apex court in the Panamagate case, in his remarks said, “This is the stage which will make or break the Panamagate case.”
Justice Khosa expressed wonder that four apartments in London’s upscale area were acquired for two students (Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz) in 1990s.
On this, the Sharif’s counsel claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s nephew Hamza Shahbaz was also studying in the UK at that time. However, he expressed his inability to provide complete documents regarding the ownership of London apartments.
“It will not be possible to give every document regarding the money trail,” Raja told the larger bench, which is hearing a slew of petitions against Sharif family’s alleged corruption.
Justice Khosa observed that the issue was not related to dependency of prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz but it pertained to the ruling family’s integrity.
The top court judge also observed that there was no document which could show how bearer shares regarding the ownership of London flats were transferred to Sharifs by the Qatari royal family.
Envoy says Qatar not involved in Panamagate
Another judge Justice Ijazul Ahsen remarked that no document had been produced regarding the generation of money by Qatar investment as well as getting the ownership of London flats. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan asked Raja to tell the top court how the London flats were purchased by the Sharif family.
The hearing of the Panamagate case was adjourned last week as Justice Sheikh had been hospitalised in Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology following chest pain. Doctors had advised the judge to undergo medical examination after seven days. Daily hearings of the Panama case discontinued after Justice Sheikh’s illness.
On January 4, Justice Khosa had ruled the hearings of the Panamagate case will be conducted daily without any adjournment.
'No money trail established'
Reacting to today's arguments by the Sharif family's counsel in the top court, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said that the former had not brought up any evidence of owing their London property despite a passage of nine months.
"There is a discrepancy between the evidences presented by Sharif family and their statements," Imran said adding "Most of these documents have been unable to establish a money trail."
PTI chairman went on to add that money trail of his own property as well as documents were available with the Election Commission.
Imran further said that Sharif family have never been held accountable, taking refuge under either the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) or the Charter of Democracy.
Chairman PTI reiterated that FBR, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) or other institutions cannot carry out an independent investigation of the case as long as Nawaz Sharif holds his position as the Prime Minister.
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