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Panamagate JIT summons Maryam Nawaz

Updated June 27, 2017

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The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad has summoned Maryam Nawaz to appear before it for questioning for the first time.

In the summons addressed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter, the JIT has asked Maryam to appear before it on July 5.

Maryam is currently in London to attend her son's graduation ceremony, PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry told DawnNews shortly after the summons were issued.

The Supreme Court-appointed JIT has also asked the prime minister's sons ─ Hussain and Hassan Nawaz ─ to appear before it for further questioning on July 4 and July 3, respectively.

Hussain, the premier's elder son, has appeared before the JIT for questioning five times; whereas Hassan has been questioned three times.

The prime minister's cousin, Tariq Shafi, has also been summoned to make his second appearance before the JIT on July 2.

The six-member JIT is due to present its report before the apex court on July 10.

In its judgement of April 20 in the Panama Papers case, the Supreme Court had constituted a JIT and empowered it to summon the prime minister, his sons and any other person necessary, to investigate allegations of money-laundering, through which the four apartments in London’s Park Lane area were purchased.

A number of witnesses have appeared before the JIT for questioning so far including the PM Sharif who was questioned on June 15, becoming the first sitting prime minister to be directly questioned by investigators.

The PM's brother, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif also appeared before the JIT last week.

A few days later, the prime minister’s son-in-law, retired Captain Mohammad Safdar was questioned for around five hours by the investigating team.

Former interior minister Rehman Malik also appeared before the JIT last week and presented before the probing body a report he had compiled as an FIA official about two decades ago on alleged money laundering by the prime minister and his family members.

While speaking to journalists after testifying, Malik made it sound like his testimony had left no room for the Sharif family to escape the money laundering charges.

However, he said that he had told the JIT not to use the report and other evidence during the course of prosecution without seeking his prior consent.

"The summons issued to Maryam Nawaz do not come as a surprise as she is the beneficiary of the Sharif family's off-shore companies," Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said, speaking to DawnNews.

He alleged that Maryam is the main person of interest in the Panama Papers case and Hussain Nawaz was involved in the case to protect her and the prime minister.