ISLAMABAD: During the hearing of Panamagate implementation case in Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, Justice Ejaz Afzal reiterated we have been asking for Jeddah money source for a year and half but no one is answering from where it came.
A three-member SC bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan resumed the hearing of Panamagate during which lawyer of Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s children Salman Akram Raja said have told so many times about the source of amount but the bench is not considering it.
The bench remarked that if children fail to prove the source of funds that it will affect those holding public office.
Justice Ijaz also expressed resentment over the lawyer for publicizing the documents on the media before submission. Justice Azmat told the lawyer that you should better present your arguments before media as your said documents were under discussion on different channels. Salman Akram Raja responded that he didn’t give any record to the media.
The court also opened new letter from Qatari prince and data related to British Virgin Ireland obtained at Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) address and assured to provide it to the parties. Justice Ejaz remarked few documents were received by JIT regarding your stance in Panama Leaks case. Lawyer of PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz denied Minerva documents, Justice Ijaz said.
Salman Akram Raja said that JIT had verified Steel Mills documents and didn’t argue with Hussain Nawaz on them. Justice Azmat asked Salman Akram Raja to read the letter of United Arab Emirates Ministry of Justice over which the lawyer said that the department informed JIT about missing record of machinery transfer.
Justice Azmat continued that Hussain Nawaz presented agreement of selling Gulf Steel’s 25 percent shares with a stamp of Dubai court but Ministry of Justice denied its authenticity, adding the documents submitted to us were having stamp of notary public which were again rejected by the ministry.
Justice Ijaz said clarification was sought from Hussain Nawaz on shares sale issue whereas PM’s cousin Tariq Shafi was also contacted in this regard.
He further asked why you didn’t unveil documents of customs over which the lawyer said it is because no one had raised objection on them. Justice Azmat advised him to not tell only half part of the truth. Whenever we ask any question from you, you bring new documents, Justice Azmat added.
At first, you said that the factory was installed in Dubai and now you are saying the machinery was transferred to Jeddah from Abu Dhabi. There must be evidence of this statement, remarked Justice Ijaz.
Justice Azmat said the documents you are now showing can even claim that the machinery was shipped through ‘Titanic’. Don’t attack on JIT report again and again, he further warned.
Justice Ijaz asked about the 21 million outstandings of Azizia Steel Mill and who paid them over which the lawyer said that I will see the matter. He said Hussain Nawaz got 63 million riyal in cash. The history of this case is that the payments are done through secret ways, Justice Azmat.
Present the documents showing that other two partners were also given their share on which Salman Akram said the record is not in my pocket which I can present immediately. Justice Azmat expressed anger and said now what else we can do, should we give advertisement in the newspaper about our questions.
He said purchase of London flats need to be coupled from eight sources. If Maryam Nawaz is not a beneficial owner then she has to prove it as according to Mosaic Francisca, she is the owner. He also said that flats were acquired through the money of offshore companies.
Justice Ejaz remarked that Hussain and Maryam Nawaz were not that much stable to buy these flats in 1993 and that PM Nawaz Sharif has been alleged of purchasing them. Plaintiffs ask from the premier to tell the source of money came for London flats, he continued.
Justice Ejaz said if children proved the source of funds then everyone would have been acquitted while Justice Ijaz stated that Qatari letter didn’t mention flagship and Azizia Steel Mill. The lawyer further demanded a thorough inquiry into the matter as JIT’s probe was incomplete.
Justice Azmat said forensic report stated that Calibri font was not introduced at the time of trust deed and the sheet having signature of Maryam Nawaz was reused. He said report revealed same mistakes on both pages.
Apparently, fake and self-made documents were presented in the court which may lead to seven years imprisonment, he continued, over which Salman Akram said that we will give our stance on Calibri font soon. The bench also asked Attorney General to guide about inquiry over forgery allegations.
Justice Azmat said Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor al Thani refused to visit Pakistan to record his statement, adding he also avoided to go to Pakistan Consulate in Qatar. It seems that Qatari prince is not photogenic, said Justice Ijaz.
He continued that the case would have been resolved if Qatari prince had recorded his stance even on a video conference. Justice Azmat also asked from whose account the money was transferred over which Salman Akram said this question can be asked from the prince.
Salman Akram said that JIT doesn’t need to go to the prince for record over which Justice Azmat asked is he ready to visit Pakistan. The lawyer argued that he only gave feedback on the probe report. Qatari prince was your ‘star witness’ and it was responsibility of Hussain Nawaz to present him before the investigation team, said Justice Ijaz.
From where money for FZE company came, PM was employee in that company or was a board chairman, asked Justice Azmat. The counsel responded that the company worked from 2006 to 2014 only. Justice Ijaz also questioned about the source of 650,000 pounds that were transferred to the company under flagship.
The bench adjourned the hearing till today (Friday). The top court has been conducting hearings on daily basis to conclude the case as soon as possible. NNI