The five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the verdict on Panama Papers on Friday ….
After hearing the Panamagate matter for four days consecutively, the three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal, comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan had concluded the hearing against Sharif and reserved the order on July 21.
Before reserving the order on July 21, Justice Saeed stated that the court will not deviate from any law while delivering the judgment. “We are conscious of the fundamental rights of petitioners and respondents,” he said.
On July 17, the Supreme Court resumed the hearing on panama papers after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) submitted its 256-page report on July 10 stating a “significant disparity” between Sharif’s declared welath and known sources of income.
The JIT report had noted that the increase happened between the year 1992-92 during Sharif’s tenure as a prime minister. The report also noted financial irregularities and found Maryam Sharif and his sons Hussain and hassan Nawaz guilty. The six-memmber panel of the JIT said stated in its report that wealth of fortunes of Sharif’s father, late Mian Muhammas Sharif, had increased in leaps and bounds from Rs. 7.53 million to Rs. 32.15 million. However, the panel noted that Sharif’s source of income was not proportional with the increase in his assets.
Sharif termed the report baseless.
Since the panama leak, the opposition parties in Pakistan had been seeking Sharif’s disqualification for holding offshore properties in London. On July 19, lawyers across Pakistan held a protest demanding Sharif’s resignation after JIT filed a graft case against him.
According to panama papers leak four offshore companies were allegedly set up by the sons and daughter of Sharif in British Virgin Islands (BVI), which owned at least six upmarket properties overlooking London’s Hyde Park. Four of the properties were mortgaged by the Sharifs to the Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA for a loan of GBP 7 million and as for the other two properties, the Bank of Scotland financed the purchase of the two apartments. Nawaz Sharif refused to claim the ownership of all the properties and dismissed allegations hoisted against him.