Pakistan's SC reserves verdict on Panamagate case

Office holder to bear scions’ impact SC

Office holder to bear scions’ impact SC

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday concluded hearing the sensitive Panama Papers case against beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family for alleged corruption and money laundering, but reserved its verdict that could jeopardise his political future.

The Supreme Court, however, continued with its proceedings, including hearing the Panama Papers leaks case.

Shehbaz Sharif had claimed Rs10 billion in damages from Khan under sections 4 and 9 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 for allegedly lying and defaming his reputation.

"The Supreme Court today concluded the hearing of this case and it will set a date for announcing the judgment later", said Salman Akram Raja, the lawyer for Sharif's family.

On this, Additional District and Sessions Judge Azfar Sultan issued a notice to Imran Khan to appear on July 21, but he did not.

The Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had called the investigators' request to withhold Volume X "mala fide".

The organisations have urged Sharif to "honourably" resign as he has "lost the moral and legal authority" to continue in his office after a joint investigation team (JIT) report accused him and his family of evading tax by setting up offshore companies to purchase high-end properties in London. Soon after the three-member special implementation bench resumed hearing the case, it summoned the JIT report's volume 10 in the courtroom and opened it for reviewing the documents it contained.

Lower and higher courts in Pakistan came to a standstill yesterday as lawyers held protests demanding PM Nawaz Sharif's resignation.

The bench had questioned the authenticity of the documents submitted by the lawyer on behalf of his clients, pointing out that the trust deed - executed between Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz in February 2006 was signed on Saturday in a country where it was not possible to seek official appointments on a holiday. "The [JIT's] report shows that Maryam Nawaz is the beneficial owner of the flats", noted Justice Ejaz Afzal. But the JIT report is turning into a major challenge to Sharif, the three-time prime minister.

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