Panamagate case: Counsel says Nawaz Sharif was never share holder of Dubai factory

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Makhdum Ali Khan, during Panamagate hearing, told the Supreme Court (SC) that Nawaz Sharif was never a share holder of Dubai factory.
A five-member larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed the case hearing. Other judges in the bench include Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ejazul Ahsan.
During the hearing, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawyer said that basic investment for Jeddah Steel Mill was taken from the sale of Dubai Steel Mill. He said there is a contradiction in Paksitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s verbal words and petition.
The bench asked the lawyer to satisfy the court over Dubai Mill investment as he knows all the money trail of Sharif family.
The prime minister’s counsel was quizzed about a money trail for the London flats and asked to prove there were no inconsistencies in the PM’s speech in the National Assembly last year.
The PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan denied that his client had anything to do with the London flats before a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
Khan argued that the family business was transferred to Nawaz Sharif’s son, Hussain Nawaz after the death of Mian Sharif, the PM’s father. “Nawaz Sharif had nothing to do with it,” he said.
“If there was no connection, then how does the money trail lead to the London flats?” Justice Khosa inquired. “There are two different money trails before us. How did the money go from Jeddah and then to London? And how did the money go from Dubai to London and then Qatar?”
The PM’s counsel denied Nawaz Sharif had been a director of the family’s Dubai factory.
“How can we believe that he was never the director?” Justice Khosa asked. “No documents have been submitted before us to prove he was never the director.”
Khan told the bench that the Dubai factory was established after taking a loan, upon which he admonished by a judge for presenting documents in court that did not make this apparent. The counsel asked the court to form a commission “to go to Dubai and review allegations made against the prime minister.”
Justice Ijazul Hassan observed that the prime minister had recognised the Dubai mills and said all records are available. “Now the burden of proof is on you,” he told the PM’s counsel.
Khan was of the opinion that presenting documents and proof is the petitioner’s job.
Justice Khosa remarked, “the prime minister’s lawyer will have to satisfy the court” regarding the ownership of the Dubai factory.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed told Makhdoom Khan that the Panamagate case is based on contradictions in statements made by the prime minister on the floor of the National Assembly after the Panama leaks last year.
The judge, referring to the plaintiff’s allegations that Nawaz Sharif provided incorrect statements, told the counsel, “If you disagree, then you will have to prove it.”
“If there is a small mistake in the speech, it can be overlooked. But if mistakes were made on purpose, there will be serious consequences,” Justice Ejaz Afzal warned.

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