In Pakistan, Supreme Court hears Panama leaks case involving prime minister

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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and heir-apparent Maryam Nawaz was the focus of Tuesday’s hearing of the ‘Panamagate’ case in the Supreme Court which asked about her finances and legal status.

The case deals with alleged money laundering by Sharif to buy properties in London which came into focus after Panama papers revealed that flats in London were managed though offshore companies run by his children.

Panama leaks

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and five other petitioners have approached the apex court to probe the alleged scandal.

The court today raised several questions about Maryam’s finances and legal status of dependency on her father, the offshore companies and whether the Prime Minister had cheated the nation.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s counsel Naeem Bokhari explored Maryam’s financial situation and said that the premier’s daughter had been gifted Rs 50 million and Rs 31.7 million on two separate occasions by her father.

He argued in court that Sharif’s tax returns from 2011 showed that Maryam was his dependent.

As Bokhari concluded his arguments, Sharif’s council Salman Aslam Butt will respond to charges in the next hearing.

Later, advocate Akram Sheikh, the lawyer representing Nawaz Sharif’s children — Hasan, Hussain and Maryam — will present his argument.

It is not clear whether the court will issue a direct verdict or form a commission to probe the charges.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali observed that the court was keeping an open mind on the idea of forming a commission on ‘Panamagate’.

The court adjourned the hearing till December 13.

Later, cricketer-turned-politicain Imran told the media that Sharif’s legal team had given proof of wrongdoing of the Prime Minister. He said the documents submitted by Sharif failed to show who money was transferred.

“Nawaz claims his property in London was bought after selling the Gulf Steel, established by his father in Dubai.

But, the documents show that Gulf Steel was suffering losses…how could he have bought such expensive properties by selling another that was in loss,” said Khan.

(With PTI inputs)

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