ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) says that Joint Investigation Team (JIT) neither, blamed Prime Minister (PM) for misusing his powers, nor doing corruption and maintained that Sharif family did not answer about money trail till today.
A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the case of Panamagate for hearing on Wednesday.
During the hearing Sharif family lawyer Khawaja Harris said that PM declared all his assets as per law and if there was any concealed property, then investigators’ team would have surely asked about it.
Justice Ejaz Afzal said the actual case revolves around the Sharif family’s property made in 1990s as money trail of this era is unclear. Justice Ijaz remarked the bench didn’t get answer of how money was transferred to London from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to purchase the flats.
Without the answer of these questions the other queries are of secondary importance, Justice Ijaz added.
He continued that the basic question is when and how London flats were purchased while Justice Azmat said that we know the definition of unnamed person over which the counsel argued that JIT also declared Nawaz Sharif not an owner of these flats.
The lawyer told the bench that PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz was partner in Huddaibiya Paper Mills and that the premier had provided all the details of family’s joint assets. PM has no connection with any transition related to London flats, he added.
Justice Ijaz said that volume 4 of JIT report contains trust deed on which Khawaja Harris stated that JIT asked about it from the PM during his appearance.
JIT extracted results from the trust deed, terming London flats are Sharif family’s joint property, said Justice Ijaz.
Khawaja Harris said that there are no such documents present that show PM as owner of these flats.
He said let’s see whether we will make the decision or refer the case to trial court.
Justice Ijaz remarked that Hussain Nawaz didn’t present any record that can show him as owner of London flats but the documents are clearly pointing at Maryam Nawaz as beneficial proprietor of these flats.
Khawaja Harris said the court must make sure about the availability of real evidence if it wants to transfer the case to National Accountability Court (NAB). He said JIT has not mentioned that PM has exceeded from his authorities.
Will have to see whether any case can be lodged against PM over prima facie or not, Justice Ejaz added.
Talking on the formation of Hill Metal, Justice Azmat asked about the source of money and also said that its profit was given to the PM over which Khawaja Harris said that may be answer of this question will be given by Hassan or Hussain’s lawyer.
Sharif family lawyer completed his arguments.
While presenting arguments, PM Nawaz Sharif’s children Hussain and Hassan Nawaz counsel Salman Akram Raja claimed the team leveled serious allegations against his clients without authentic evidence. He said he will submit documents regarding beneficial ownership of Hussain Nawaz till the evening.
The counsel continued that he doesn’t want to give news to media by presenting the record at this moment, adding that we have obtained data of machinery import case which JIT mentioned.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar’s lawyer Tariq Hassan declared JIT report as media friendly.
Justice Azmat clarified that JIT was tasked to only collect record after which the trial court will announce its final verdict on the probe report. Justice Ijaz told the lawyer that SC is not an appropriate platform to clear your stance.
Have told several times that we are not bound to act on JIT report, said Justice Azmat.
Justice Ijaz clearly said that Ishaq Dar cannot get relief here by adopting shortcut.
Justice Ejaz said that if you want to raise objection over JIT report, then you should bring relevant documents. We have not gone through the evidence you are talking about, he continued.
If you have anything new to say then go ahead. We have not dismissed or announced verdict on your request, said Justice Azmat.
Justice Ijaz alleged Dar of not providing complete details to JIT as he refused to give information about his foreign earning and demanded privilege from JIT. He said the minister has to submit real data in the case.
Tariq Hassan further told the court that he challenges Dar’s statement before JIT over which Justice Ijaz asked do you mean that JIT didn’t record your client’s stance correctly. Justice Ejaz said that this matter can be resolved by analyzing video recording of Ishaq Dar’s appearance.
Justice Ejaz and Justice Azmat abruptly said that the finance minister refused to show his assets.
Ishaq Dar counsel said that JIT declared my client as accused which is not appreciated. He said we are not raising doubts on SC but this case is again heading towards trial which can’t be happened now. Justice Ejaz remarked that Dar should not get worried if he has not committed any crime.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Rasheed asked about the Iqama of Ishaq Dar over which the court directed to provide whatever he demands.
The apex bench adjourned the hearing till July 20.
It is vital to mention here that the top court has been conducting hearings on daily basis to conclude the case as soon as possible.