ISLAMABAD: Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia has submitted first report pertaining to Panama case probe in Supreme Court on Monday.
It was JIT’s first report which comprises its findings of the first 15-days of its investigation.
The bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, comprises Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director-General Wajid Zia, who is heading the JIT, submitted the report to the bench. Other JIT members were also present at the proceedings.
After examining the documents submitted by the JIT, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan directed the investigators to ensure their task is completed in a transparent manner no later than 60 days as prescribed in the April 20 Panama case judgment.
Justice Shiekh Azmat Saeed expressed satisfaction with the direction and progress of the probe, saying in case there is an unwillingness to share information from any official, the court should be informed so corrective action may be ordered.
Before the hearing concluded, PTI’s counsel Fawad Chaudhry asked the bench to make the report public as ‘it is not their personal case but that of the entire country’. However, the bench disagreed, saying there is no legal precedent of a criminal case where an under-progress investigation is made public before its completion.
Justice Azmat Saeed said in case there is such precedence, the bench can be made aware of it by the counsel. He added that the report would be made public when the time comes.
The hearing was then adjourned till June 7.
Talking to the media outside the court, the JIT head said they are working according to the court’s directions. He did not comment when asked regarding the questioning of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was also present in the courtroom. While responding to a journalist’s question outside the SC that whether PTI will demand the court to open the report, he replied that decision will be taken after the report is presented in the court.
Speaking outside the court after the hearing, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz criticised Imran Khan for ‘hurling baseless allegations’ against the fourth time -elected premier of the country.
State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb lashed out at the PTI chief, saying “they [PTI] want cheap publicity on issues of national importance.” She said the party speaks the enemy’s language on all issues, be it the Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing in the International Court of Justice or the Dawn Leaks issue.
Speaking after the minister, party leader Talal Chaudhry said it was proved that the JIT is working freely and without any pressure from the ruling party, as was alleged by its detractors before.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Daniyal Aziz lambasted at Imran Khan and said that despite the passage of three weeks, he has not submitted his money trail. He said that the PTI chief is a proclaimed offender therefore he should be behind bars but he is roaming around in the streets fearlessly
PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry, addressing the media, said they are disappointed that the JIT’s progress report will not be shared with the public. He claimed since the case affects all of Pakistan, the public has a right to know. Commenting on Monday’s proceedings, he said the judges have termed this a criminal case where the Code of Criminal Procedure is applied; hence the prime minister can be arrested.