PM, children submit asset details before SC

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PTI documents have no relevance; Newspaper cuttings cannot be considered evidence: SC

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—The counsels of the Prime Minister and his children have submitted before the Supreme Court documents containing details of their assets.
Presenting his arguments, counsel Akram Sheikh said the PM’s family established a steel mill in Dubai without any financial input from Pakistan. He said Mian Sharif set up the mill in Dubai with capital provided by Shaikh 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 the parliament that the steel mill was established in Dubai with the capital left with the family while the mill in Aziziyah, Makkah was set up after selling 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 of the PM,” replied Sheikh, adding that the PM’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt will respond on his behalf.
Sheikh presented before the court 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 Hussain Nawaz Sharif and the Al-Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies to a representative of Hussain Nawaz Sharif”.
During proceedings of the case on Panama Papers on Tuesday, the bench said that the documents submitted by PTI as evidence are not relevant. The documents also include newspaper clippings which can not be considered as evidence, the bench remarked.
The court maintained that one side had submitted 700 pages while the other had submitted 1600 pages. “We are not a computer that we scan the documents in a minute,
The apex court maintained that it will not investigate corruption. “If someone has done corruption the lower courts can take care of it.” Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali also expressed displeasure over the documents submitted by PTI which consisted of 686 pages.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that he wanted to keep focus on the London flat.
He said that the parties had submitted too many documents in the court. “We wanted to give the verdict in two or three days. But we have received too many documents.” He added that it was difficult to differentiate between real and fake documents. “In this situation we might not be able to give a verdict in six months.
The hearing was adjourned till November 17 with the order by the apex court that copies of the documents should be exchanged with the parties so that they could examine them.

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