SC adjourns Panama Leaks case hearing till Nov 17

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Supreme Court of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday adjourned hearing into Panama Leaks scandal involving Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members till November 17.
Afive-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali resumed hearing into the high profile Panama Leaks case. Other bench members are Justice Asif Saeed Khose, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Shaikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Hassan.
The bench observed that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition has been admitted for hearing as a test case. The court examined all responses filed by the parties and later adjourned the case till Thursday (Nov 17).
The Supreme Court said that the documents submitted by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) were not even related to the case which was being heard.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, who was also part of the larger bench, commented that the documents submitted by PTI also contained clippings from newspapers. He said that the petitioner himself had buried the truth. “Newspaper clippings cannot be considered as evidence,” he said.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that documents consisting of 1600 pages from one party were submitted while the other party to the case had submitted 700 pages. “We are not computer machines in which you feed paper and the answer immediately comes out,” he said.
The Chief Justice stated that the blame arising due to the failure of NAB should not be placed on the Supreme Court. He observed that it’s not Supreme Court’s job to investigate corruption. He claimed that time and again, the Supreme Court had clarified that it was not an investigating institute. “If we started accountability since 1945, this matter can never be resolved,” a judge said in his remarks.
Advocate Akram Sheikh said that he was the attorney of the Prime Minister’s children. Sheikh said that he would cooperate with the Supreme Court without caring about the result of the case.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed stated that if the documents had been submitted by the Sharif family on Monday, then the bench could have had a chance to go through them.
On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz had replaced their lawyer Salman Ahmad Butt with Akram Sheikh. PTI had also submitted what it referred to as ‘evidence’ of money laundering against PM Nawaz Sharif, at the Supreme Court.
On the last hearing, the court had directed the petitioners and respondents to file documents related to properties and off-shore companies revealed in the Panama Papers Leaks by November 15.
The documents provided to the court by the PM’s sons confirmed the agreement between Maryam Safdar and Hussain Nawaz.
Under the deal, signed on 2nd February, 2006, Maryam Safdar is the ‘Trustee’ and Hussain Nawaz is the ‘Beneficiary Owner’ of the Trust holding offshore companies and in case of Hussain’s death, Maryam is bound to distribute the properties accordingly.
Nawaz Sharif’s children had earlier claimed during the initial proceedings that all three of them were not dependent on their father.
The court had ruled that the respondents, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz and his son-in-law and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, had to satisfy it as to when the properties and entities were acquired, how money was transferred from Pakistan and who paid and from which bank account it was spent.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday filed 686 pages of documents as evidence but relied on the paper book of journalist Asad Kharral on the PanamaLeaks. Kharral had also filed a petition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the PanamaLeaks but the bench dismissed it on November 2.
The documents submitted to the court on Monday by the PTI contain the details of bank accounts and billions of rupees loan write-offs. The evidence mentioned that from 1988 to 1991, the Sharif family transferred Rs56,896 million through ‘hundi’.
The court was informed that the Sharif family through money laundering shifted Rs 145 million abroad while during the period paid Rs 887 as income tax. It was submitted that the said money was not declared in the tax return.

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