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Panamagate hearing resumes: PM Nawaz responds to SC's questions

Updated Jan 05, 2017 09:54pm

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The hearing of the Panamagate case resumed on Thursday where the five member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was apprised about details of the offices held by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his political career.

Additionally, the petitioners attempted to submit interviews of the defendants to various news outlets as confessions was also questioned.

The observation came when senior counsel Naeem Bokhari, who represents PTI’s chief Imran Khan sought court’s permission to refer to a number of interviews of the prime minister, his spouse and children at different point of time to highlight that every one of them took a divergent stand about the ownership of the London properties.

However, Justice Shaikh Azmat Saeed asked the counsel twice not to muddy the water when the counsel reminded the court about precedents where it had taken newspaper reports into account before deciding a number of cases.

Bokhari cited an April 10, 2000, interview of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz by Rory McCarthy of The Guardian in which she conceded that London flats were bought because her son was studying.

At this, Justice Saeed again cautioned the counsel that he was entering into a dangerous territory, adding that if "we start hanging people on television interviews or news paper clippings then your client will not survive either."

The SC bench also proposed calling the PM's family members involved in the case to confront if they deny the stance they took earlier regarding four London Park Lane flats in their previous statements.

“I propose to display the interviews of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif children on the ownership of the London properties and we can ask the other party (defendants) to deny these,” Justice Khosa observed.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's counsel also submitted the premier's replies to questions posed by the Supreme Court (SC) a day earlier.

Makhdoom Ali Khan submitted details regarding various offices that Nawaz Sharif has held during his political career.

The newly engaged counsel for the prime minister apprised the court of the dates when Nawaz became PM twice, Punjab chief minister, as well as the provincial finance minister, and when he was out of the country during former president Pervez Musharraf’s government.

The court had asked for the dates in yesterday's hearing against the backdrop of his interview to a private television channel in which he stated that he had parted ways with the family business in 1997.

The question became relevant in view of the allegations of a conflict of interest, especially when there was no money trail in the shape of banking transactions to establish how sale proceeds of the Gulf Steel Mills in the UAE got invested in Jeddah or Qatar, Justice Khosa observed earlier, wondering whether the then prime minister was using his official position for the transfer of the money.

Explaining further, Justice Khosa had observed that it was in 1999 that the family of the prime minister went to Saudi Arabia and it seemed that as sum of 12 million dirham — proceeds from the sale of Gulf Steel — remained parked somewhere and was even available for investment in Jeddah after a gap of almost two decades.

The court also made it clear on Wednesday that it would not grant any adjournment on any pretext and continue hearing day to day from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, till the conclusion of the case.

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Comments (76) Closed



Love Your Country Jan 05, 2017 12:31pm

Good decision to continue hearing on daily basis.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 12:41pm

Mr. Nawaz Sharif is in the court for things which happened 20 years ago or more right when the Limitations Act 1908 states a complaint must be filed within three years of the occurrence of the perceived grievance.

Khan Jan 05, 2017 12:44pm

As PM of Pakistan NS is the most credible person he must proof himself his innocent.

Smart Solutions Jan 05, 2017 12:54pm

Lets hope something good comes out of it for millions of desperate and suffering people of Pakistan.

RAHIM Jan 05, 2017 01:33pm

Nothing good will come out from this. If proven guilty some other corrupt leader will replace him if not he will continue to loot us. Better we mind our own business

Rana Jan 05, 2017 01:35pm

@Love Your Country , why our SC is not concentrating on cases of poor masses. SC has no jurisdiction to hear this case.

Rana Jan 05, 2017 01:41pm

@Khan . mr. khan, imran is required to prove his case beyond any doubt.

Riz Jan 05, 2017 01:40pm

If NS is unable to provide any valid money trail, he must be announced guilty for owning the properties and failing to prove their legality.

SDA Jan 05, 2017 01:46pm

@Syed F. Hussaini Let the justice prevail. I assume Statute of Limitation will shy away seeing the intensity of the crime by this Government.

Pakcritic Jan 05, 2017 01:53pm

Acquiring loans, getting them written off, build up of sugar industries, steel industries, textile industries, allocation of funds to family members, receiving gifts every now and then with no source of income attached and using public funds for self centred benefits all should be investigated.

Using PMs power to help dissolve NAB cases for self and PPP members should also be looked into. This would help strengthen the dismissal argument against NS.

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 02:07pm

@Syed F. Hussaini You obviously have not read the law that you are referring to. It has more than 20 clauses. Read clause 18 " Effect of Fraud"; which clearly states that fraud cases, limitation starts from the time they they are discovered or unearthed. Panama case was unearthed by ICIJ in April of last year. Read the clause again. I could have posted the entire statute here but it's too lengthy.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 02:09pm

@SDA

Justice prevails under the rule of law; under the statute of limitations, a complaint is inadmissible if filed after a lapse of three years.

Thanks.

Jamil Jan 05, 2017 02:14pm

@Rana Why not? Is Nawaz Sharif not a citizen of Pakistan?

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 02:17pm

@Rana Rana sahib the PM's family has already accepted that they own these properties which they concealed in the past. Read their statements. What does imran have to prove? Now it's a matter of income source. If you state that you own the house you live in, would you expect me to determine the source of the funds that made you the owner of the house? No....how do I know how you bought that property. You would have furnish the source of funds. 90% of Pakistanis who are asking Imran khan to prove are being mislead by the PM's scouts.

NoNy Jan 05, 2017 02:16pm

If there is no money trail for the "source" and subsequent "transfer" of money from one country to an other, this in itself raises a lot of questions ! This is going towards money laundering in huge sums!

NoNy Jan 05, 2017 02:19pm

Definition of money laundering "the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses". is this really complex in the case where owner of assets accepts that he/she has no money trail whatsoever!

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Jan 05, 2017 02:21pm

The Supreme court should tackle each problem individually and start giving decisions respectively, otherwise the solicitors/councils will mix-up/link-up the cases so as to confuse the honourable supreme court. Love you Pakistani Supreme court.

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 02:21pm

@Rana The Panama case is the case of every poor person in this country. The money that is in question is taxpayers money. The money you pay each time you fill up your car, buy a bus ticket, purchase a phone card or pay your light bill. If this money is not recovered, more indirect taxes shall be levied on you and the common man to offset the national loss. 70% of national revenue comes through these indirect taxes. Rich don't pay taxes on their income. This money is your money which you earn. Why are you letting them get away with it?

azmat shah Jan 05, 2017 02:33pm

@Khan the enitre system is at work to prove him innocent. You dont need to worry mate :)

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 02:31pm

@Syed F. Hussaini

  1. Effect of fraud.---Read this clause of the statute again. The law you are referring to has more than 20 clauses which clearly states that in the event of any financial irregularities or fraud, the time factor is determined from the moment the said activity got unearthed. The limitation does not apply to the Panama case which became public in April last year. Please don't mislead people
Khan Jan 05, 2017 02:36pm

Limitation Act section 18 is applicable and hence the three years start from the date Panama details were revealed. The action is not time barred.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 03:16pm

@Nadeem

The complainant cannot reach the stage of attempting to prove that fraud occurred 20 years ago during some business transactions, because he is hampered by the fact that in the first place, his complaint was inadmissible and was to be thrown out for being time-barred.

Thanks.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 03:17pm

@Nadeem Yes you are right.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 03:24pm

@Khan correct!

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 03:24pm

@Khan

Panama papers are food for gossip, not evidence for prosecution.

Thanks.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 03:29pm

I think one day we all will be capable enough to plead our cases ourselves (God forbid, if we are caught plundering). Panama case has provided us opportunity to study law.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 03:33pm

@Syed F. Hussaini Which business transactions, please don't confuse fraud with legal transactions.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 03:43pm

Corruption in Pakistan is the mother of all evils. Unfortunately we have become so immune to it that many of us don't take it seriously. It's consequences are so grave that it is destroying our roots and weakening us internally. We need to educate our innocent masses who are not aware of the severity of this cancer.

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 03:46pm

@Syed F. Hussaini Once again you are misleading people. There is a difference between a bank transaction ( cash withdrawal, balance inquires etc) and the transactions that give you possession to an asset. Take the example of a mortgage banking product. It matures in 30 years in countries like US and UK. And U.K. is the country we are discussing here. For tax purposes both bank and the buyer have to update their books every year. And we are also discussing properties that were either bought using loans, mortgages or even cash. Are you saying that a property bought in UK 30 years ago cannot be traced back? The Title deed contains the name of the buyer, the date on which it was purchased the seller and even the holding bank that financed it even 30 years ago. Yes a small transaction like a cheque Enquiry, a cash withdrawal or a balance Enquiry has a limit. So in short both the statute of limitations does not apply here and the 20 years timeframe that you are putting up doesn't either.

Khan Jan 05, 2017 03:48pm

@Syed F. Hussaini. In corrupt societies it may be the case but in jurisdictions were law prevails documents of this nature are evidence for prosecution. See some English cases if you have any doubts. And further in those jurisdictions evidence would be from the accursed to establish source of funds for example NS and not IK

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 03:57pm

@Syed F. Hussaini They can be gossip for those who think that way. For Pakistan this is a real test. The developed world also came across such instances and turning points. There were people who called those instances "gossips" and there were people who said " enough is enough". Look at those countries. South Korea impeached their elected leader last month for giving a government contract to a friend. And S. Korea became independent after us. They could or their forefathers could have also called matters like these " gossips". They did not and look where they stand. we are equating these matters with "gossips" and look where we stand.

mustafa Jan 05, 2017 04:00pm

@Rana Actually no he is not, the burden of proof in the SC is now inquisitorial, in this the PM and kids must show evidence to support their claims, this is not a High Court or civil case. And the PM introduced Ethesab Law himself where the onus is on the accussed.

Muhammad, canada Jan 05, 2017 04:03pm

There are contradictory statements made by PM and his children as well as his ministers implying that facts are being concealed. Hope at the end of the day truth will prevail. I hope for the best for the poor people of Pakistan.

Furqi Jan 05, 2017 04:03pm

Nawaz shareef found guilty or not time will tell ,

Sami Ullah Swati Jan 05, 2017 04:10pm

Good job SC and hope you eventually deliver justice!

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Jan 05, 2017 04:21pm

PM is a not competent at all and corrupt. Fish rots from the top. PMLN, PPP gotta go, no more corruption this has to end for the sake of our beautiful Indus Valley Holy Land. Pakistan Zindabad, Pak Fauj Zindabad!

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Jan 05, 2017 04:21pm

@Dr Riffat Jabeen very well pointed out.

shakil Jan 05, 2017 04:28pm

@Khan being PM doesn't make one a credible person! otherwise Zardari would be most credible person.

shakil Jan 05, 2017 04:25pm

@Rana really? is PM out of bound or somehow above the law?

shakil Jan 05, 2017 04:28pm

@Rana its quite the opposite, PM need to prove himself innocent beyond doubt! any doubt will indict he has no clear money trail for his and his family property empire in London and beyond!

khanm Jan 05, 2017 04:31pm

Interesting comments.. Folks..let us take one step further..There is always something behind what is wrong and to change what is wrong, mind the things behind what is wrong! So many people are quick enough to see what is wrong only, and they criticize so blindly! When you see what is wrong, see why, who and what is behind what is wrong. unless the system as over all is not overhauled, it will continue and will be ever lasting..remember the country we live in..'Privilege" is something else. "Privilege" is a judgment."Privilege" is an opinion. privilege is an accusation...

Masoud Jan 05, 2017 04:52pm

Anyone who did such wrong has to pay for his deed. The outcome will surely act as a deterrence for others.

bashir ahmed Jan 05, 2017 05:02pm

@Syed F. Hussaini so what, he is answer able to qom, how he go his empair?

bashir ahmed Jan 05, 2017 05:05pm

@Khan ,yes he shuld, but he cant?

Asma_jehanzeb Jan 05, 2017 05:12pm

The ICIJ spent more than one year trying to massage the data. This data cannot be relied upon nor does it make a case for persecution. The politicians are trying to take advantage of this so they can remove Nawaz Sharif. No body is interested in removing corruption.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 05:19pm

@bashir ahmed

He is in the highest court of law our nation has and he is gracefully responding to the frivolous charges from political adversaries.

Thanks.

Iftikhar Husain Jan 05, 2017 05:20pm

The SC of Pakistan means business in this case very promising the case will go on till its final conclusion.

Shiraz Jan 05, 2017 05:24pm

@Love Your Country - Honorable SC is the only hope to recover all the wealth and assets including sugar mills of both Sharif and Zardari families.

shafiq ahmad uk Jan 05, 2017 05:31pm

@Khan Yes three years after the issues surfaces. So there is no hiding behind the rules.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 05:49pm

@Khan

He does not have to prove anything.

The accusers carry the burden of proof.

Thanks.

Farrukh Jan 05, 2017 05:57pm

The people of Pakistan will deliver their verdict next year. So the wait will not be very long. If the legal system fails to deliver, democracy will.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 05, 2017 06:29pm

@KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Thankyou so much.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 06:30pm

@Khan

The Panama papers have no legal validity to be admissible as evidence in a court of law on the following counts:

They are not the originals.

They are not photo copies compared with the originals and authenticated by a notary public.

LAHORI KID Jan 05, 2017 06:32pm

@Syed F. Hussaini, You are talking about the stature of limitations without knowing what you are talking about.

Sarah Jan 05, 2017 06:52pm

@RAHIM yeah that is the attitude that we "OUR" country is in the mess. Mind our own business and put the country in mess. Shame

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 05, 2017 06:55pm

@Syed F. Hussaini True Panama papers in themselves are not evidence but they are not "food for gossip" either. They comstitue bedrock foundation for demonstrating where & by whom the massive fraudulent activities had been started

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 05, 2017 06:52pm

Had it been " gossip", the prime minister of Iceland would have never resigned

Gerry D'Cunha Jan 05, 2017 06:54pm

The corruption of all evils was the person who rose NS from finance minister to chief minister and to PM.

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 05, 2017 07:05pm

@Syed F. Hussaini The accusers have brought the charges and now the assets have to be proved to be acquired not by illgotten money. If NS is not on hot waters and everything is a cakewalk for him just as good as you suggest, why would he make a plethora of contradictory statements in different fora from press comferemce to parliament. If all is so crystal clear and without any feet, why does he find himself constrained to present a letter from the Qatari prince? No sir, unfortunately, you are are defending a hoax by a flurry of hoax arguments.

Usman Jan 05, 2017 07:09pm

The matter is very simple if (big IF) there is no wrong doing on the part of NS's family. They should appear in the court and provide papers. All these dates and amounts are well documented in the western world. Sales deed, deed of trust etc. are recorded in the land registry. Once the date are established the question of money will come.
IF there was no export of money from Pakistan then the sons should be able to provide a job history through income tax record and should where the initial money came to even start the first business. If the money came from over seas to UK then the money trail through banking system is needed. If not this will open a money laundry case in UK. I remember I had some $4000 (or less) on me when I had a transit from UAE to US via UK and I was question about the source of that $4,000. I was told that only 1,000 pounds can be carried in cash form. IF MN is independent then she must provide source of her "independent" sufficient to her life style.

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 05, 2017 07:12pm

@syed zafar kazmI U.S

Thank you, Sir!

Happy New Year!

Smart Solutions Jan 05, 2017 07:14pm

@RAHIM If this business of muk-muka (you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours), taking turns to get richer by any means is not stopped, there is no hope. Country does not deserve to become a banana republic for benefit of few selected families who continue to fool the masses. This vicious cycle can only be broken if few big wigs are sent to jail so others would learn the lesson (ibrat for others).

Life Jan 05, 2017 08:11pm

First, Court should provide reasonable opportunity to both sides for preparing replies and submissions in the case. Secondly, No law requires a person to maintain money trails after 7 years of its first occurrence, therefore, there is a reasonable chance for Sharif family to get away with this because defendants are not responsible to provide evidence of innocence after the lapse of 7 years. The only and bleak way to find money trail is through forming a commission which will investigate and ask relevant authorities to perform forensic audit.

Mustafa R. Jan 05, 2017 08:14pm

@Syed F. Hussaini;

'Limitations Act 1908 states a complaint must be filed within three years of the occurrence of the perceived grievance.'

If so, why is Musharraf on trial now?

Rawalpindi Kid Jan 05, 2017 08:17pm

@Syed F. Hussaini An apologist for a corrupt prime minister, misleading people of Pakistan to accept the rampant corruption. If the time limitation was a legal argument here don't you think it would have been made in the first place by the defendant's legal team?

Mustafa R. Jan 05, 2017 08:17pm

@Syed F. Hussaini;

'Limitations Act 1908 states a complaint must be filed within three years of the occurrence of the perceived grievance.'

Even then, Nawaz Sharif committed a new crime when he lied to the National Assembly.

Zubaida Khan Jan 05, 2017 08:26pm

@Smart Solutions how will this help the millions of suffering pakistanis? All that will come out of it is that Nawaz will end up paying a fine. Do you think that money will be distributed among the millions of pakistanis?

Secondly, if Nawaz is removed it does not make IK the PM. The PML will nominate another person who will become PM.

Also if the President pardons Nawaz then he will be PM again.

So explain again how does this help the millions of suffering pakistanis?

Gaf Jan 05, 2017 08:47pm

@Asma_jehanzeb - If ICJJ is wrong, then take them to court and clear your name.

At least start the proceedings, what are NS and family waiting for.

Wake up people, cant you smell thing here.

It is your money for God sake, needs to be spent on people of Pakistan not billions staked up by one family while hundreds can't even have single meal a day.

Wake up! for your country - does not matter which party you belong to.

Khan Jan 05, 2017 08:46pm

@Syed F. Hussaini you are confused. Can you cite me the law or the cases from any jurisdictions in which the accuser has to prove in cases of this nature.

Ahmed Jan 05, 2017 08:47pm

Supreme Court must immediately ask Nawaz Sharif to step down as Prime Minister till the conclusion of the Panama case. The cases are against Nawaz Sharif and his family so he should face them.

Presently , he is using Govt ministers and machinery to defend him and his family. They are using tax payers money which is unlawful and illegal.

Nawaz Sharif is now implicated and defending corruption cases against himself and family. So he cannot perform State duties properly. A new Prime Minister must be appointed by the National Assembly.

Khan Jan 05, 2017 08:50pm

@Rana No! Don't accept the propaganda. In all jurisdiction where corruption bribes are involved the accused must prove that his fortune is not I'll gotten.

Ahsan gul Jan 05, 2017 08:56pm

Pakistan will not advance if public and different leaders continue to save PM or any person for corruption charges. This cycle of corruption must comes to an end for Pakistan to be a prosperous country. PanamaGate issue is not manufactured in Pakistan but was an international disclosure. Other countries heads named in it either resigned or paid back looted money. Why PM Nawaz is still waiting?

Mustafa R. Jan 05, 2017 09:08pm

'Limitations Act 1908 states a complaint must be filed within three years of the occurrence of the perceived grievance.'

So all you have to do after committing a crime is not get caught for three years and then you are scott free, I really don't think the law works that way.

Nadeem Jan 05, 2017 11:35pm

@Rana, When you own an asset, you are bound to declare it and provide the source and money trail on how you acquired it also! This is what happens in democracies all over the world...

asim Jan 05, 2017 11:53pm

NS is our leader and leader should be allowed to do whatever he feels like. He should be above the law and no questions should be asked about his money, money trails and any property or assets he may own or his family may own.

shahbaz Jan 06, 2017 01:51am

Congratulations the world, there are only two corrupt individuals in the world . The prime minister of iceland has resinged where as the other one NS is being tried in the court of law and all other millions of off shore account holders are virtualy equal to saints with a pious past.