Panama Leaks case hearing on daily basis

Panama Leaks case hearing on daily basis

ISLAMABAD: With the formation of a new five-member larger bench of the supreme court an interesting development has also taken place regarding the duration of it, since the Apex Court has decided to hear the case on daily basis.

The larger bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa includes two new judges, Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan and Justice Gulzar Ahmad. The other judges are Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

The apex court in its remarks said that it wanted to understand how money was invested into Sharif children's businesses. It asked how did funds transfer from Qatar to London, and if Nawaz Sharif was extending his business interests while he occupied government positions.

"Where were 12 million Dirham kept for two decades? From 1980 to 1997 what did Nawaz Sharif do? What is law for money transfer in Dubai and Qatar? How money was invested in the Sharif children's businesses?" the SC asked.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing till January 5 (tomorrow).

During the proceedings, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that the hearing will be conducted on a daily basis. He asked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari to plead the case in the court and not in the media.

To this Bukhari said, he had never talked about the case to the media. 

In his arguments, Naeem Bukhari referred to Prime Minister's speech to the nation on April 5 where he stated that he had evidence of his investments in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Bukhari said that the Prime Minister had lied therefore he was neither Sadiq nor Ameen (truthful and trustworthy), and therefore he should be disqualified.

He said that an affidavit by Tariq Shafi, cousin of the premier, which claims that all properties including the Dubai mill were owned by him, was fake.

Justice Aijaz-ul-Haq asked for documents from 1993 that prove that the Nescol company is owned by Hussain Nawaz.

Bukhari said, "This is the only mystery in the case."

Justice Khosa replied, "Ownership of Neilson and Nescol before 2006 is what you [Bukhari] have to prove."

"Do the Panama documents have any legal standing," asked Justice Gulzar.

PTI chief Imran Khan told the bench that their press conferences should not be considered a pressure tactic on the courts. "The government uses its platform to say that PTI has not given evidence, to respond we have to hold press conferences," he said.

On December 9, a five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by former Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, had adjourned hearing until the first week of January 2017 after the PTI objected to the formation of a commission proposed by the bench, and stressed that the said bench should decide the matter in the interest of justice.

In the latest development in the case, the Prime Minister and his children have changed their legal team. The Prime Minister is being represented by Makhdoom Ali Khan, while Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar is being represented by Shahid Hamid. Salman Akram Raja will represent Hussain Nawaz