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Panama Leaks case hearing: PM submits reply

ISLAMABAD: (Parliament Times) A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed hearing the Panama Leaks case on Thursday.

The prime minister’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali submitted his reply which included details of the prime minister’s public office tenure.

The reply states that the prime minister was provincial finance minister from 1981 to 1985, after which he occupied the office of Cheif Minister Punjab till 1988. During the period of April-May 1988 he was acting chief minister. Till 1990 he was CM Punjab again. He went on to become prime minister till 1993 for the first time, and then from 1997 till 1999 he was prime minister for the second time. From 1993 till 1996 he was opposition leader. He was exiled in 2000, and his exile ended in 2007.

Copies of the reply were submitted to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked, that Nawaz Sharif had said that his leftover factories were shut down by Pervez Musharraf. “How did he erect the Jeddah factories in exile then? Sharif family’s financial adviser had promised to produce evidence in court. But now you are saying there is no evidence.”

The hearing has been adjourned till January 6 (tomorrow).

Meanwhile, during the proceedings PTI lawyer Naeem Bukhari asked the bench to discard the Qatar Prince’s letter from the case, as “without the letter it could be proven that the Mayfair flats were bought by the Sharif family”.

Justice Azmat Saeed asked if Bukhari had any documentary evidence. “The PM bases his argument over the letter. How can it be removed?” he asked.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the Qatar letter seems like a fragment from someone’s imagination. “It does not state who owns the offshore company,” he said.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan said that it seems as if the 12 million dirhams were not spent for two decades. “You have to prove that proceeds from the sale of Gulf Mill went into the Nawaz Sharif’s account.”

Bukhari demanded that the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Maryam Nawaz’s husband Capt. Safdar and Prime Minister be disqualified. He added made the Sharif children party in the case so that they could clarify their position.

During the hearing Bukhari referred to a 2000 interview given by Kulsoom Nawaz.

To this Justice Azmat Saeed asked him to refrain from using news reports as evidence. Bukhari argued that several times the court has take action based on news reports.

Justice Ijaz Afzal said that news reports can be monitored keeping in mind what the law says about them.

Speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that this was not just being fought by PTI, but all of the public.

He said he had reservations over the Prime Minister’s new legal team as his lawyer Makhdoom Ali was also named in the Panama Papers.

The apex court in its remarks on Wednesday said that it wanted to understand how money was invested into Sharif children’s businesses and if Nawaz Sharif exploited his position to extend his business interests while in power.

 

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