ISLAMABAD: The three-member special Supreme Court bench will resume hearing of the Panama Papers case shortly.
As was the case on Monday, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid informally began the day’s events by addressing the media. He said they [Sharifs] have no case.
The AML chief also criticised the Sharif family’s claims against ISI’s Brig (retd) Nauman Saeed — one of two members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from military intelligence agencies.
“Don’t mess with the judges and the generals. There were 19 cases against Nawaz Sharif and he was only tried in two,” said Rashid.
On Monday, the petitioners delivered their arguments in favour of the Panama case JIT report and against the Sharif family.
Today, the bench is set to hear arguments against the JIT report by the respondents, who submitted their responses objecting to the mode of the investigation on Monday.
The counsels for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Sheikh Rashid presented their arguments during Monday’s proceedings.
PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari pleaded with the apex court to summon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for cross examination, disqualify him from Parliament and send cases against him and his family to an accountability court.
The counsel for JI argued that the premier did not speak the truth during his speech in Parliament.
Sheikh Rashid, presenting his arguments, said the nation was embarrassed to find out its prime minister is a paid employer of another company.
Khawaja Harris, the Sharif family’s lawyer, will continue his arguments today.
In his brief remarks to the bench on Monday, Harris said a case against the Sharif family cannot be undertaken on the basis of the JIT report.
The bench observed that an investigation was required based on the nature of the allegations and was thus directed. “The JIT was not conducting a trial…choose you words carefully,” observed Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.
Later, the bench adjourned the hearing, with Justice Ejaz observing that they do not wish to waste the court and the nation’s time.
During proceedings, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the bench, wondered if the JIT can trust the veracity of the documents while Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked the JI counsel to inform the bench to what extent could it implement the JIT’s findings and use its authority.
The JIT, formed in light of the apex court’s April 20 judgment to probe the Sharif family’s money trail, submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10.
The report highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children own assets beyond their known sources of income.
Following the report’s submission, the special bench issued notices to all parties to submit their responses.