PM children submit assets details before SC Barely hours before the Supreme Court (SC) resumed hearing of the Panamagate case on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz submitted documentary evidence on ‘legitimacy of their assets’ before the top court.
The documents comprising nearly 400 pages contain relevant details of transactions as well as receipts of payments since 2011.
While Maryam Nawaz submitted the evidence required by the court, her brothers Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, both of whom live abroad, failed to submit relevant documents in time. The five-member larger bench chaired by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali expressed its disappointment over failure of the premier’s sons to comply with court orders to submit evidence within stipulated time.
Following the hearing, the counsel for PM’s children submitted documents detailing their assets but sought additional time from the court to submit one remaining document on behalf of PM’s sons.
The counsel objected to the formation of a commission to probe the Panamagate case and pleaded that the court continues to hear it.
The bench directed all parties to exchange the documents’ copies and adjourned the hearing till Nov 17, which is when the bench said it will decide whether to form a commission to investigate the matter or not.
No money went out of Pakistan: counsel
Presenting his arguments, counsel Akram Sheikh said the PM’s family established a steel mill in Dubai without any financial input from within Pakistan. He said Mian Sharif (father of Nawaz Sharif) set up the mill in Dubai with capital provided by Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, the emir of Dubai.
“75 per cent shares of the mill were given to Al Hali group while later in 1980 Mian Sharif sold 20pc shares.”
At this, Justice Khosa said that the prime minister had said in the parliament that the steel mill was established in Dubai with the capital left with the family (after nationalisation of the family assets) while the mill in Aziziyah, Makkah was set up after selling out the mill in Dubai.
“There is a difference between the prime minister’s viewpoint in public and your statement,” he said.
“I am a counsel of the prime minister’s children, not his own,” replied Sheikh, adding that the PM’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt will respond on his behalf.
Sheikh later presented a letter by Qatari prince Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani, supporting the Sharif family’s claim that no money was laundered from Pakistan.
The prince said in the letter that Sharif’s father sold his business in Dubai in the early 1980s and invested 12 million dirhams in the real estate business of the Al-Thani family in Qatar. The letter says flats number 17, 17a, 16 and 16a at Avenfield House, Park Lane, London — which are now owned by the Sharif family — were registered in the names of two offshore companies and were purchased from the proceedings of the real estate business.
Later in 2006, “the accounts in relation to the above investment were settled between Mr Hussain Nawaz Sharif and the Al-Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies [which owned the flats] to a representative of Mr Hussain Nawaz Sharif”.
The apex court had directed all parties to submit documentary evidence in support of their claims in connection with the Panama Papers leaks case.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had particularly asked the counsel of the prime minister to “satisfy” the court by showing that money was sent abroad through legal means.
During the last hearing, the government had sought 15 days to submit the required documents, but the court had ordered the PM’s counsel to submit evidence within seven days, saying it wanted to conclude the case as soon as possible.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Shaikh Rashid have already submitted evidence in support of their claims against the premier’s family.