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Panamagate case: burden of proof lies with PM's counsel, judges say

Updated Jan 13, 2017 08:59am


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The prime minister's counsel, as he resumed his arguments before the Supreme Court during hearing of the Panamagate case on Thursday, was quizzed about a money trail for the London flats and asked to prove there were no inconsistencies in the PM's speech in the National Assembly last year.

The PM's counsel, Makhdoom Ali Khan, denied that his client had anything to do with the London flats before the five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Khan argued that the family business was transferred to Nawaz Sharif's son, Hussain Nawaz after the death of Mian Sharif, the PM's father. "Nawaz Sharif had nothing to do with it," he said.

"If there was no connection, then how does the money trail lead to the London flats?" Justice Khosa inquired. "There are two different money trails before us. How did the money go from Jeddah and then to London? And how did the money go from Dubai to London and then Qatar?"

The PM's counsel denied Nawaz Sharif had been a director of the family's Dubai factory.

"How can we believe that he was never the director?" Justice Khosa asked. "No documents have been submitted before us to prove he was never the director."

Khan told the bench that the Dubai factory was established after taking a loan, upon which he admonished by a judge for presenting documents in court that did not make this apparent.

The counsel in turn asked the court to form a commission "to go to Dubai and review allegations made against the prime minister."

Justice Ijazul Hassan observed that the prime minister had recognised the Dubai mills and said all records are available. "Now the burden of proof is on you," he told the PM's counsel.

Khan was of the opinion that presenting documents and proof is the petitioner's job.

Justice Khosa reiterated that "the prime minister's lawyer will have to satisfy the court" regarding the ownership of the Dubai factory.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed told Makhdoom Khan that the Panamagate case is based on contradictions in statements made by the prime minister on the floor of the National Assembly after the Panama leaks last year.

The judge, referring to the plaintiff's allegations that Nawaz Sharif provided incorrect statements, told the counsel, "If you disagree, then you will have to prove it."

"If there is a small mistake in the speech, it can be overlooked. But if mistakes were made on purpose, there will be serious consequences," Justice Ejaz Afzal warned.

"We do not believe that the speech was wrong but if something was hidden on purpose, we will consider that to be a half truth," Justice Khosa said.

The counsel told the judge that the prime minister, in his speech, was providing an overview of his family's business.

"He was not taking an oath or answering a specific question," Khan said. "The prime minister's speech was not a statement in a court."

Makhdoom Khan said that there are two ways to remove the prime minister: the first is through the submission of a no-confidence motion. The second requires that Members of the National Assembly prove that the PM is dishonest.

"The Supreme Court, however, cannot disqualify him based on the statements and claims of others," Khan said.

"Did the prime minister tell the truth or did Hussain Nawaz tell the truth," Justice Ejaz inquired. "If one of them has told the truth, then the other has lied."

"The record the the prime minister referred to in his address has still not come forth," Justice Gulzar observed.

Justice Khosa remarked, "The prime minister had said his life is an open book. There seem to be some pages missing from that book."

Makhdoom Khan finished the days arguments by telling the court that the matter of the money trail has nothing to do with the Nawaz Sharif.

"The business belongs to the [premier's] children. The record will be presented by their lawyer."

"The lawyer of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz will present details about the business and the money trail record," Makhdoom Khan said.

The hearing was adjourned till Friday.


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Comments (73) Closed

Wasi Qureshi Jan 12, 2017 12:13pm

Well done SC.. Justice must prevail...

taha Jan 12, 2017 12:18pm

finally some hope of justice. SC must do justice for future generations.

Muhammad Mirza Jan 12, 2017 12:22pm

finally someone is talking thats a victory of the justice systmen. love it.

Dr riffat jabeen Jan 12, 2017 12:26pm

Hopefully fair trial of the case will keep the nation's spirit alive. It's extremely important to save the country from further complexities.

Khaled Jan 12, 2017 12:30pm

In the end it will be a Win Win situation.

art kp Jan 12, 2017 12:30pm

Its music to my ears, thank you judges.

art kp Jan 12, 2017 12:36pm

A hope giving and exciting development.

Maqsee Jan 12, 2017 12:40pm

The nation needs to see accountability in its true essence. A high profile fair sentence will help improve this country's reputation of being corrupt.May the corrupt and the wrongful be brought to justice.

Masoud Jan 12, 2017 12:36pm

Well said, the one who has accumulated wealth and disbursed accordingly should prove the money trail to the satisfaction of the learned judges of the SC

ADNAN MAZHER KHAN Jan 12, 2017 12:52pm

This is the point where all eyes are focused.

Ali Jan 12, 2017 12:53pm

The nation is relying on supereme court for justi e to end bahshahat and corruption.

Anonymous Jan 12, 2017 12:54pm

If the honourable court decides based on evidence and justice (we all know what that means), all the judges of the bench will be remembered in golden words in the history of the country. There will be hope again.

Khan Jan 12, 2017 01:00pm

one thing is true that people named in directly or indirectly in panama papers sent to home if they hold any position in the govt. in all other countries, now this is a big test for our supreme court how they will tackle this case. i must say there is an immense pressure on Judiciary but they have find a way to revive people's confidence on them. PS. if they go against Panama Papers then it will bring bad image to Pakistan in international community

arsHAD, Canada Jan 12, 2017 01:18pm

@taha , Justice you desire does not mean winning of your side. Right?

Fayzee Jan 12, 2017 01:14pm

We have a lot of hopes from the SC. Justice must prevail.. hopefully...

Kasamali Jan 12, 2017 01:30pm

@arsHAD, Canada You are perfectly right Arshad. Whatever the decision or verdict it may be , we all have to accept it.

Sabeeh Ahmad Jan 12, 2017 02:47pm

Justice is one which can be clearly seen and not just made... I hope it can be seen... Every one know who is corrupt and who is not..

iNDIAN KASHMIRI Jan 12, 2017 03:13pm

Get rid of the PM who has serious allegations against him. Let me resign and come clean to become PM again.

Nazir Jan 12, 2017 03:20pm

They may keep denying involvement of the prime minister till kingdom come. The truth of their corruption has been fully exposed by their contradictory statements. The people are not fools. They know it, we , the people, know it, and they know we know it. No amount of denial will help them. People looking up to the Supreme Court to finally set our hapless country free of corruption in high places.

Ali Khan Jan 12, 2017 03:23pm

a ray of hope.

khanm Jan 12, 2017 03:49pm

@Khan does our image really matters.. if it did we would not have done what we did..Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past. Let us see if our judiciary takes us to the right path...

Masoud Jan 12, 2017 04:03pm

A defining moment that will lead to corruption free Pakistan. Imran Khan has always maintained that if corruption is to finish then accountability should begin from the top chair. Pakistan has all the potential to become a great country if the poison of corruption present from top to bottom is neutralized. No country can live & progress side by side with corruption, something has to be done to cure this mother of cancer present in the society.

Merchant Jan 12, 2017 04:23pm

This is a rare opportunity to save Pakistan from dirty politics and politicians in future. Like any other patriotic Pakistani, I hope and pray that justice will prevail.

iffi Jan 12, 2017 04:27pm

Well done Sir, this is what the public demand's, pm & family should provide evidence of there billions, that how they managed to accumulate billions & trillions without paying any income tax ??? also tell us the formula as well

Mehboob ali lalani Jan 12, 2017 04:29pm

I wish truth prevail. Justice appear to be done and public confidence in the system restored. Pakistan be put on path of progress and we too as a nation keep our head up with pride in the world.

kanwarch Jan 12, 2017 05:08pm

This is a nation of fools and illiterate people and the leaders are just a reflection of us all. Every one of us is corrupt and dishonest and that is why people like Nawaz Sharif and Zardari are in power and wreaking havoc in the country and nobody can do anything about it. Nothing is going to happen and country will slowly slide down and these leaders will settle comfortably in Dubai and London. This whole drama is a total waste of time.

kanwarch Jan 12, 2017 05:16pm

Burden of proof is with PM and this is a no brainer.

Mehtab Jan 12, 2017 05:18pm

Look what kind of people rule us. Dishonesty and lies to cover up wrongdoings.

Ashraf yousafzai Jan 12, 2017 05:16pm

One must watch the excellent explainatory argumentations renderd by retd. justice wajih on panama topic, in a talk show conducted by dr. danish last month on express tv channel. justice wajih has manifested in his talk that the burden of proof lies entirely on pm.

Iftikhar Husain Jan 12, 2017 05:14pm

The arguments are going in the right direction justice will prevail.

Hidayat Jan 12, 2017 05:26pm

What a wonderful chance is provided by the great Imran Khan for Judiciary to help the injured nation get rid of corruption

Awais Anjum Jan 12, 2017 05:32pm

In the end it will be a win win situation ......

M Akram Jan 12, 2017 05:30pm

There is a glimmer of hope that justice at long last may prevail.

Sid Jan 12, 2017 05:33pm

Pleasantly surprised by SC - they asked all the right questions - credit where credit is due

F Khan Jan 12, 2017 05:44pm

It will be a stalemate, judicial commission will be the ultimate decision.

Shahid Jan 12, 2017 06:04pm

Why is this counsel proposing/promoting 'commission'? Why not elicit truth from his client and tell the same to the honorable SC? As father of his children, NS knows the whole truth. Why read out contradictory statements at forums of responsibility? Sometimes, and those times are rare opportune times like this moment in history, one has to stand tall.

Jason Jan 12, 2017 06:11pm

Guaranteed nothing will come of this! Stay tuned...

M. Johri ---canada Jan 12, 2017 06:22pm

@Khaled Yes win win situation for I K.

Ivory Coast Jan 12, 2017 06:19pm

Pakistan's future hangs in the balance. Result of this case will determine what sort of Pakistan we are going to have ; a Pakistan where corruption is a norm or a Pakistan where there's some hope for justice to prevail.

Nadeem Jan 12, 2017 06:24pm

"The business belongs to PM's children"..Who do the children belong to??

Awais Jan 12, 2017 06:30pm

Thanks you Imran Khan for bringing the case up.

Jamil Jan 12, 2017 06:32pm

@arsHAD, Canada It would be a great victory for the people of Pakistan, if justice is delivered in its true essence.

pk Jan 12, 2017 06:33pm

@Nadeem They belong ti Pakistan and all their assets belongs to Peoples of Pakistan. It is time they donate to People.

saqib Jan 12, 2017 06:41pm

These corrupt elite must be punished and should not be lay off easily. Hope the top court will make history by punishing these mafia.

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Jan 12, 2017 06:56pm

Continuation of corruption is not an option anymore. It is a fight for survival of Pakistan against corruption.

kamran Jan 12, 2017 07:02pm

Any house that is built in UK has a history of all the owners’ transactions. Anyone can see these records. Any corporation that is register in Panama has a record of who owns it and when it was registered. In NS case London properties are owned by Panama Corporation. It is easy for Supreme Court to order Pakistani agency to find out who registered Panama Corporation and on which date. Also our agencies can pull the records when these corporation bought these London flats from London registry and also the info about prior owners. This will give all the answers that court is seeking. .

zafar ahmed Jan 12, 2017 07:04pm

I doubt that any one can bell the cat !

NeutraView Jan 12, 2017 07:06pm

Let's not forget the following: This case is not Imran Khan vs PML-N, it is neither PTI vs Prime Minister. It is People of Pakistan vs Nawaz Sharif, who needs to prove that he did not amass wealth while in power.

Smart Solutions Jan 12, 2017 07:14pm

@Dr riffat jabeen I agree with your comment. Its not about one person, its about how system has been abused by many many rich and powerful for many years. Citizen of the country want justice to gain freedom from abusers.

Gaf Jan 12, 2017 07:22pm

@iffi The best formula is to not to keep anything in your name. Lie as much as you can and deny everything.

RIZ Jan 12, 2017 07:25pm

It's time to punish real culprits and teach the lesson to others that no one is above the law.

Faiza Salman Jan 12, 2017 07:22pm

Please God may this case be the example for powerful and strongs who have immense power within the law and beyond. That rich and powerful if they commit crime can go to Jail. PM Nawaz Sharif lied on national TV assembly and provided different version in court he is at least accountable and answerable in front of poor Pakistani public.

Ali Jan 12, 2017 07:43pm

Yes the burden of proof is on PM Nawaz Sharif to prove how did his children become multi-millionaires? They were students at the time, so they did not earn it? Parents sent money from Pakistan according to his sons, so provide bank transactions?

Were taxes paid? Were these assets declared as required by the Election Commission? Why were the TORs for investigation resisted for 9 months? The people of Pakistan demand the truth from PM Nawaz Sharif. No politician can be above the law.

Syed Ahmed, canada Jan 12, 2017 07:46pm

Let's see the SC doing justice nothing but justice.

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 12, 2017 07:47pm

It will be monumental in the history of this nation and an ever glowing landmark in the judiciary's history if the PM is indicted-a major turning point for the country towards becoming a corruption free state. Wish you best Pakistan.

Imran Jan 12, 2017 08:04pm

@iffi Become a Politician. One PPP Billionaire was a linesman. Another PTI Billionaire was a lecturer.

Nadeem Jan 12, 2017 08:04pm

Multiple cases on Sharifs, they lied multiple times and kept their assets hidden in all the elections they contested!

panama Jan 12, 2017 08:23pm

@Khaled Nation was robbed of its assets. How can a theif be a part of win-win situation,

kamran Jan 12, 2017 09:38pm

Enough is enough. If no justice at this time than our generation will not see justice in our life time. Pakistan's financial resources will keep flowing out and stacked in western countries eventually bankrupting Pakistan. My fellow citizens, please rise yourself above political parties and political person. Work for the corruption free Pakistan. The corruption money that is stacked out of Pakistan is your money your children money. If Pakistan become a failed state because of the corruption, you will still stuck here in Pakistan and all corrupt people will run out of the country and enjoy the stacked money they earned through corruption.

Philosopher(from japan) Jan 12, 2017 09:53pm

I remember ping-pong game where ball tossed in one court to another.

Fareed N Jan 12, 2017 09:54pm

A family with roots in the business where every penny is counted where every ledger is balanced, the father does n't know what his sons and daughter are doing ? Hiding behind the excuses, why does n't he present the documents to the court where it shows that money was n't laundered .

Sameer Jan 12, 2017 10:45pm

No more commissions please. End this now.

SAT GOEL Jan 12, 2017 10:47pm

People in high positions should not only be honest. They should be perceived to be honest also.

Sameer Jan 12, 2017 10:47pm

@arsHAD, Canada Pakistan gets to decide this time...there are no sides.

ali Jan 12, 2017 10:51pm

I fervently hope that this case is not decided on technical justice like the past ones. True justice should prevail.

F Khan Jan 12, 2017 11:17pm

If the burden of proof is with the accused then with due respect we need to go back to the law school again.

Anis Motiwala Jan 12, 2017 11:52pm

I was under the impression until now that once you have taken the oath as a Parliamentarian you are automatically under oath at all times when in the Parliament.....but Makhdoom Khan seems to have educated me today otherwise. For the first time I feel sad getting an education !

FarhanA hussain Jan 13, 2017 12:43am

All eyes are on SC, justice must be done!

Harambe of Cincinnati Jan 13, 2017 01:04am

@Merchant : Even USA or UK, OZ, NZ, .Ca, China, India, KSA,Turkey,Iran can't wash themselves clean of dirty politics. Politics is a soap opera. ZAB was hanged.Zia blown up.BB assassinated. Nothing changed.

malick Jan 13, 2017 03:21am

No commission the bench should render final decision. The whole Nation wish bench ORDER. Well done SC.

F Khan Jan 13, 2017 10:32am

Under section 66 a lawmaker can not be tried for parliamentary proceedings in a court of law.It does not say misstatements intentional or unintentional.So how come one can be charged on that basis?

Staki Jan 14, 2017 01:08am

It's so obvious that the PM used his children to 'dispose' of his ill -gotten assets in the form of gifts to them .This way he made it look as if he personally didn't have ownership,whether he acquired them legally privileged not.

Syed Ali Jan 14, 2017 06:50am

The way remarks are coming from hon.judges the case is being confused.