ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has termed that there are contradictions in the statements of Sharif family according to Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Panama case.

A three-member SC bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Hassan Monday resumed hearing of the final phase of Panamagate case. The SC said that statements given before JIT would be scrutinized under military laws.  

During the hearing, Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that Shahbaz Sharif presented before JIT as witness and recorded statement as it is given before police officer.    

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that we are not bound to accept JIT findings. Why we must follow the findings of JIT?, he posed a question.  Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed questioned what are the recommendations that can be implemented?

Before outset of the hearing on Monday, finance minister Ishaq Dar submitted objections on JIT report. He pleaded that the SC had given investigation of thirteen questions while it (JIT) exceeded its mandate. He alleged that JIT report was biased, saying it did not fulfill legal requirements. He prayed to SC to accept his application for hearing and reject JIT report.

PTI lawyer Naeem Bukhari while giving arguments in favor of JIT report said Justice Azmat Saeed Khosha declared Nawaz Sharif as disqualified while Justice Gulzar was also agreed with his verdict but three judges directed further investigation into the matter. He said after submission of final report on July 10 now the matter is between JIT and SC.

Naeem Bukhari said that JIT also acquired legal assistance from United Arab Emirates (UAE). He said Sharif family failed to present its stance on Gulf steel mill. He said Gulf steel mill was not sold at 33 million dirham. He added JIT termed oath statement of Tariq Shafi, cousin of Nawaz Sharif as wrong and accord of April 14, 1980 as self-based. JIT also found discrepancies in the statements of Nawaz Sharif and Tariq Shafi.

He said JIT wrote four letters to Qatari prince Fahad Bin Jasim but the Qatari prince denied of following Pakistani legal limits. Qatari prince also raised questions on court’s ambit.  

Naeem Bukhari said the trust deed of the four flats located in London’s upscale Park Lane neighborhood, executed between Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz - the Prime Minister s children - in February 2006, was found to be false by the JIT.

He further told the court that Nawaz Sharif had no money for investment in Azizya steel mills in Saudi Arabia. He said not only Hussain Nawaz but Mian Sharif and Rabia Sharif were also partners of in the said mill. He said no document regarding sale of the mill were provided to JIT. He informed that Azizya mill was sold against a sum of 42 million riyal not 63 million.   

Justice Ejaz asked the PTI lawyer whether the Qatari story narrated by Sharif family is self-made or its prince’s letter is bogus or not over which Bokhari said both are false.
The JIT had concluded in its report that “after having investigated the case [of letters] in detail, examination of witnesses [Sharif family members] and receipt of irrefutable evidence from foreign jurisdiction, recording of the statement of Hamad alThani has become inconsequential.”

“On the strength of the overwhelming documentary evidence it is concluded that the appearance of letters of Qatari prince are totally a myth.”

Justice Azmat asked Bukhari about the source of Free Zone Establishment company’s (FZE) documents over which he said that they were received by legal assistance. Nawaz Sharif was working as Chairman Board of Directors (BODs).

The SC asked whether JIT acquired the documents through a legal way or sources upon which Naeem Bukhari replied, the documents were achieved through legal assistance.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked all documents are not verified upon this Naeem Bukhari said, documents are correct but not signed. He said the company had also issued Nawaz Sharif’s Iqama in UAE. He said JIT wrote seven letters to Dubai and British officials while one letter was written to Saudi Arabia.

He said the duration of PM’s iqama expired in 2015 over which Naeem Bukhari said that Hassan Nawaz claimed the company was demolished in 2014. He alleged that Sharif brothers were failed to provide Jeddah Mills documents and Hill Metal audit report to the JIT.

Justice Ijaz said that the documents on which JIT relied for Hill Metal report were unverified.

Naeem Bukhari said that record of the legal assistance from United Arab Emirates is present in report’s volume 10 after which Justice Ejaz said that the volume would be made public if needed. Lawyer of Imran Khan said that Nawaz Sharif has bigger assets then income as proved in JIT report.

Justice Sheikh Azmat inquired what would be consequences of having bigger assets then the income. Upon this Naeem Bukhari said we have asked the SC to disqualify Nawaz Sharif. He said it was a NAB case against Nawaz Sharif .

After arguments of Naeem Bukhari, lawyer of Jamat-e-Islami (JI), Taufeeq Asif said that JI application was about Nawaz Sharif’s speech he made in the National Assembly. He said Nawaz Sharif lied to the nation in his speech. He said Nawaz Sharif did not cooperate with JIT. He termed Qatari letters correct without studying.

Justice Ejaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that entire Pakistan was aware of JIT findings, adding the SC was not bound to follow. He said sufficient material was available to declare PM as disqualified.  

In his case, Sheikh Rasheed contended that there was no dearth of faithful people in the country, which the JIT has proved. He hoped the justice will win. He said there was always a face behind any case and in this case there is face of Nawaz Sharif. He said siblings of Sharif family earned millions of rupees in an age at which a common man’s child was seeking national identity card. He said it was not issue whether Nawaz Sharif was receiving remuneration but it was matter of national prestige. He said Captain Safdar who was relying on 1500 Riyal now owns 300 acres of land. He said fake documents have been submitted in SC.

Lawyer of Sharif family Khawaja Haris pleaded that JIT violated law in collecting documents. He said JIT exceeded its power adding documents submitted by JIT could not be proved as proof.

The Supreme Court suspended the proceeding of the case till today (Tuesday).