ISLAMABAD: Advocate Salman Akram Raja will pick up his arguments where he left off when the hearing of the precariously poised Panamagate case resumes in the Supreme Court on Wednesday (today) after nearly a fortnight.

The bench consisting of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan had postponed day-to-day proceedings after Justice Saeed had to be rushed to the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology following chest pains on Jan 31.

The next day, at the 19th consecutive hearing of the matter, Justice Khosa had announced that the next hearing would be held only after Justice Saeed sufficiently recovered.

When the case resumes on Wednesday, everyone will be anxious to learn more about Justice Saeed’s health.

Counsel for PM’s sons to pick up where he left off; PTI vows to present new evidence

Advocate Raja, who is defending the prime minister’s son Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, was on his feet when the hearing had to be postponed.

But when asked how much longer he would take to complete his arguments, the counsel was non-committal, offering only a brief “let’s see” in response.

At the last hearing on Jan 31, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had cautioned Advocate Raja that he was taking a big gamble by withholding evidence behind the Sharifs’ acquisition of the four London flats.

Know more: Withholding evidence a big gamble, SC tells Hussain’s lawyer

It is expected that after hearings today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday), the case will be adjourned until next week and day-to-day hearings will begin from Monday.

Those who have already completed their arguments include Naeem Bokhari on behalf of Imran Khan, Makhdoom Ali Khan on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Hamid appearing for Maryam Nawaz, her husband retired Capt Mohammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and Taufiq Asif, who represents Jammat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq.

After Salman Raja wraps up his arguments, counsel representing the Federal Board of Revenue and the National Accountability Bureau — who have been named as respondents in Imran Khan’s petition — may be asked to present their case.

Naeem Bokhari will take the rostrum next, to rebut the case of the defendants.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, who has also submitted his written response to the JI petition, has applied for general adjournment from Feb 13 to 26.

New evidence?

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) announced on Tuesday that it would submit three more documents to disprove the stance adopted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, but the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is not convinced.

“We are submitting three more documents — one from PTI chairman Imran Khan that authenticates all previous documents presented by the party, the expert opinion of UK-based lawyers and a document that proves that Maryam Nawaz is the owner of UK-based firms Minerva, Nielson and Nescoll,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told a press conference.

He said that Imran Khan would submit an affidavit stating that all documents previously submitted by the party were credible and authentic.

PML-N MNA Daniyal Aziz told Dawn that PTI’s lawyers had already completed their arguments and submitted all the evidence they had to the apex court. “Once they have completed their arguments, how can they file more documents?”

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2017



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