The government on Thursday submitted details of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s official positions he held during different tenures after the Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed hearing of the infamous ‘Panama Papers Leaks Case’, and shared copies of the answer with the lawyers of the applicants in the case.
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A new SC larger bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa would conduct the case hearing on a daily basis, as it announced yesterday, in a bid to close the case at the earliest without wasting any further time. Whenever the premier held an official designation, his business matters went ahead,” remarked Justice Khosa on Wednesday and added, “The court will have to evaluate if there was a misuse of official position.” During a 1997 interview, the premier had said that he would remain distant from his business, but he kept on doing politics and business at the same time,” Justice Khosa continued in the court.
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Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan said that the Sharif family would have to clarify their position over the transfer of money. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari opened the hearing yesterday by highlighting details of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s April 4 speech on the leaks. The top court questioned the legality of the reports and documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), world’s biggest ever data leaked in April 2016. Bukhari informed the bench that the ICIJ reports and documents were released on an international level and have never been challenged. Justice Khosa told the PTI lawyer to prove a pre-2006 ownership of Nelson and Nescol companies.
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It also raised an interesting point that if the property belonged to Mian Sharif, PM Nawaz’s father, then it must have been equally distributed and if it was a will of Mian Sharif then it should be presented before the court as well. Chief Justice Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar formed the SC bench comprising Supreme Court judges last year – Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan to hear the case. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and son-in-law changed their lawyers, while PTI submitted a set of additional documents to the court. Senior lawyer Salman Aslam Butt was replaced by Makhdoom Ali Khan to defend the premier. Likewise, senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja appeared on behalf of Prime Minister’s children, Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Hasan Nawaz in today’s hearing. -ary