SC questions money trail of London flats


Panama case hearing

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—A five member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali Wednesday while hearing the Panama Case questioned the money trail of the London flats of Sharif family.
During the hearing, Justice Asif Khosa observed that there was no bank record of money being transferred from Pakistan to a foreign country.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s counsel Naeem Bukhari submitted a two-page summary of a transaction questioning the Sharif family’s investment of Dhs 12 million in Qatar in 1980 despite owing the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) Dhs 14 million.
Bukhari said the prime minister lied in his address to the nation and was involved in tax evasion. He said that Maryam Nawaz is the beneficiary owner of the London flats, adding that the trust deed between Maryam and Hussain Nawaz did not prove much.
Bukhari called for the court to take action against the NAB chairman for failing to perform its duties.
The bench agreed that there were discrepancies in the Prime Minister’s speech in the National Assembly and the documents submitted by his children in the court.
Justice Ijaz ul Hassan said that according to documents submitted by the prime minister’s children, they invested 12 million Dirhams with the Qatar royal family. While in his speech the prime minister had said that this investment was used by the Prime Minister’s children, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said.
Bukhari brought the court’s attention to a Jeddah steel mill bought in 2007. He said that the London flats were bought before buying this factory.
Justice Azmat Saeed said that the documents submitted by the prime minister’s children only speak about the Dubai steel mill but do not mention where investment for the Jeddah Steel Mill came from. He said that the documents also don’t mention that the investment was used to purchase the London flats.
Naeem Bukhari asked if it had been mentioned that loan had been taken from banks for the Jeddah factory.
“How did he get loan from Saudi banks?” Justice Ijaz ul Hassan asked. “How much was the Jeddah factory sold for?”
Bukhari said that the London flats were bought between 1993 and 1996. He submitted that Shahbaz Sharif had forged Tariq Shafiq’s signature. How did Tariq Shafiq transfer money to Qatar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked. Naeem Bukhari told the court that prime minister had lied and hid evidence, therefore he is neither Sadiq nor Ameen, and should be disqualified. Naeem Bukhari will conclude his arguments on the next hearing to be held on Tuesday next.
The Supreme Court in its remarks said that the Sharif family had not presented documents for companies it had mentioned. In fact, documents had been hidden from the court, the apex court said. “Why were the documents hidden?” the court asked Akram Sheikh, the lawyer for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children. If you say that you are a shareholder, you will have to give evidence, Justice Azmat Saeed remarked.
Earlier, the Chief Justice of Pakistan also urged the Media to conduct itself in a dignified manner and avoid making irresponsible statements vis-à-vis the case.

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