News

Pak SC asks Sharif family
to produce documentary evidence

2017-02-15

PTI

Islamabad, Feb 15 Pakistan's Supreme Court todayasked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family to producedocumentary evidence to establish ownership of flats in Londonthat are under the scanner following the Panama papers leak.
The apex court after a hiatus of two weeks resumedhearing of the high-profile Panamagate case involving PrimeMinister Sharif and his children.
The case is about alleged illegal money laundering bySharif in 1990s when he twice served as Prime Minister topurchase assets in London.
The assets surfaced when Panama papers showed that theywere managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif'schildren.
The five-member bench hearing the case asked the Shariffamily to produce documentary evidence to establish PrimeMinister's son Hussain Nawaz as beneficial owner of Park Laneflats in London, in accordance with the family's claim.
"Where is the document which could show Hussain Nawaz isthe beneficial owner of Landon flats?" Justice Azmat SaeedShaikh asked Sharif family's counsel Salman Akram Raja.
The Express Tribune reported that the top court judgealso asked the Sharifs' counsel to provide the family'sagreement with Minerva Services Limited, a company which thePremier's family claims is a service provider to Nielsen andNescoll offshore companies owned by his son.
"Let's call a spade a spade and show us relevantdocuments that could reveal who gave payment to serviceproviding company (Minerva)," Justice Azmat said.
Meanwhile, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading afive-judge larger bench of the apex court in the Panamagatecase, in his remarks said, "This is the stage which will makeor break the Panamagate case".
Justice Khosa expressed wonder that four apartments inLondon's upscale area were acquired for two students --Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz -- in 1990s.
On this, the Sharif's counsel said Prime MinisterSharif's nephew Hamza Shahbaz was also studying in the UK atthat time.
However, he expressed his inability to provide completedocuments regarding the ownership of London apartments.
"It will not be possible to give every document regardingthe money trail," Raja told the larger bench, which is hearinga slew of petitions against Sharif family's allegedcorruption.
Justice Khosa observed that the issue was not related todependency of Prime Minister's daughter Maryam Nawaz but itpertained to the ruling family's integrity.
The top court judge also observed that there was nodocument which could show how bearer shares regarding theownership of London flats were transferred to Sharifs by theQatari royal family.
It is believed that the outcome of the case is make orbreak for Sharif ahead of election due next year.

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