The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday resumed the hearing of the infamous Panama Papers Leaks Case against the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The SC bench yesterday (Monday) refused to accept Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) counsel Naeem Bukhari’s request for rejecting a letter of Qatari Prince.
A larger bench of the apex court comprising five judges – Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan in remarks during the hearing said that the papers submitted by the Sharif family are incomplete and their lawyers have to answer several questions. Naeem Bukhari gave arguments to prove the Qatari letter as fake. He said if the court rejects this letter Hussain Nawaz’s claim of the ownership of London flats would effectively end. Justice Saeed replied that removal of the letter would create a gulf in the case, so as the court could not reject the letter for now. PTI counsel when argued about the Hudaibiya Case and Ishaq Dar’s confessional statement about money laundering the bench told him, “Mr Bukhari you are going out of parameters of the case, which is bound to the London apartments.”
Bukhari during his reply in the court said discussion on beneficial ownership of London flats was vital and also furnished evidence to corroborate his claims. He said enough evidences were at hand to prove Maryam Nawaz’s ownership of the London properties. He contended before the court that Maryam and Hussain Nawaz were directors of the Hudaibiya Papers Mills in 1997. However, Justice Ahmed remarked that pertinent question relates to 12 million dirhams. In one of the previous hearings, counsel of PM’s children had submitted a letter from Qatari Prince Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani to the top court’s larger bench.
The letter addressing the apex court states that in 1980, Mian Muhammad Sharif (Nawaz Sharif’s father) invested 12 million Dirhams in the Al Thani Company belonging to the Qatari prince’s father. “In the year 2006, the accounts in relation to the above investment were settled between Hussain Nawaz Sharif and Al Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies referred in para 4 above to a representative of Hussain Nawaz Sharif,” the letter read. The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
Three of Sharif’s four children are named in the Panama Papers daughter Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor and sons Hasan and Hussain with the records showing they owned London real estate through offshore companies administered by Mossack Fonseca. The Panama Papers have whipped up a storm of controversy over offshore wealth, ensnaring political leaders, sports figures and underworld members across the globe in the scandal.-ary