The Supreme Court of Pakistan reserved judgment after listening to the arguments from the defense and prosecution. The SC said it is reserving its verdict on the Panamagate case.
Justice Comments on Panamagate Case
Concluding the remarks, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that justice seemed to be serving interests of each party.
The Justice also added,
“If a judgment is not in someone’s interest, they [will] say the judiciary is corrupt, or that maybe the judges aren’t fit to handle such cases. And if a judgment benefits their stand [on the issue], they will say there can be no better judge. We will decide this case only by the law; such that people will say, 20 years down the line, that the book made this judgment.”
Panamagate Case Brief Background
The case originally came to light when a Panamanian law firm reported a massive leakage of files. The firm specialized in setting up offshore companies for businesses in tax havens.
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), working in collaboration with over 100 news organizations and 300 journalists, mined the data. ICIJ named family of the PM Nawaz Sharif among other beneficiaries of these offshore companies.
Fake Signature of Maryam Nawaz
Mr. Shahid Hamid, representing Maryam Nawaz, argued about the authenticity of the signatures. He said that signatures attributed to Maryam Nawaz were fake. The court advised the lawyer that services of a signature expert should have been attained to ascertain the validity of the documents.
The bench said it would have accepted the validity of the documents that have been validated by an expert. Justice Khosa said that the bench would give equal importance to all the documents.
PTI’s Counsel Mr. Naeem Bokhari
Advocate Naeem Bokhari, while presenting the argument, revisited different elements of the case. One of Bokhari’s main point of argument was PM’s family’s failure to give an explanation for the Gulf Steel Mills setup back in 1974.
Naeem Bokhari also said that the mill’s liabilities exceeded 63 million AED and there was no sufficient explanation given about their settlement. He also pointed towards Panamagate case documents showing Maryam Nawaz’s involvement in Minerva Financial Services as mentioned in a tweet of German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Naeem Bokhari Accuses PM Nawaz of not telling the truth
PTI’s counsel, arguing against the PM counsel’s verdict said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to speak the truth. Bokhari questioned how a person who could not tell the truth became the Prime Minister of a country. He also argued that if the Panamagate leaks against the PM were fake, how could he not act against Mossack Fonseca. He also raised questions about the two letters from the Qatari prince. Many other political parties have taken a stance against the PM on the alleged offshore companies.
Over Three Hundred Questions of Sheikh Rasheed
Chief of Awami Muslim League, Sheikh Rasheed gave a list of 371 questions asked by Supreme Court bench during the hearing. However, Sharif’s counsel did not give answers to any of those questions. Sheikh Rasheed was of the view that it was the last chance for the judiciary to punish corrupt people. He added that if SC did not punish corrupt people undemocratic forces would keep ruling Pakistan.