Panamagate hearing: Sharif files objections to JIT report

Updated: 17 Jul 2017 02:35 PM

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 17 (ANI): As the Supreme Court resumed hearing the Panama Papers case on Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's lawyers and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar submitted separate objections to the joint investigation team (JIT) report.

A three-member apex bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Hassan, after the JIT began hearing the case as the JIT submitted its final report on July 10.

The report pointed out a categorical foul play on part of the Prime Minister, his children and other family members in their wealth details linked to offshore companies unearthed in Panama Papers.

The report also found respondents guilty of being beneficial owners of multiple offshore companies and recommended initiation of reference against Sharif and his family members in the National Accountability Bureau.

In the objections filed before the court, the Sharif family and the finance minister rejected the JIT report and argued that the team violated its mandate, reports the Dawn.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) lead counsel Naeem Bukhari in his arguments highlighted certain findings from the JIT report, including the alleged false testimony of Tariq Shafi, who is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's cousin and a key respondent in the case.

Shafi recorded a false testimony earlier regarding an agreement that he made in 1980 with Abdullah Kayed Ahli, the owner of Ahli Steel Company, Dubai in which Shafi held 25 per cent shares, said Bukhari.

The trust deed of the four flats located in London's upscale Park Lane neighbourhood, executed between Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz - the Prime Minister's children - in February 2006, was found to be false by the JIT, Bukhari told the apex bench.

The counsel representing the Sharif's sons in the case, Salman Akram Raja, had argued before the SC in February that bearer certificates of the flats had remained with Maryam between February and July 2006. However, they were cancelled upon execution of the trust deed and registered under Minerva Services Limited - an entity that appointed directors for the two offshore companies, Nielson Enterprises Ltd and Nescoll Ltd, that owned the four flats.

The court is expected to either put Sharif on trial on corruption charges, or even disqualify him, but few expect the judges to dismiss the case. (ANI)

This story has not been edited. It has been published as provided by ANI