Pakistan’s Supreme Court, hearing fresh petitions asking for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification due to the Panamagate case, said on Thursday that members of the Sharif family can be summoned if they contradict their stance related to their properties in London.
“If Sharif family contradicts previous interviews regarding London flats, the top court can summon them,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heading a five-judge bench of the apex court hearing the petitions in the Panamagate case, said.
His statement came after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari referred to interviews of Sharif and his children to establish their contradictory stance on London properties. However, Justice Khosa observed that if anyone denies their media statements then they will have to record statements, The Express Tribune reported.
Justice Khosa pointed out that the premier never stated that London properties are owned by his son, Hussain Nawaz. Likewise, during interviews Hussain referred to the luxury apartments in London as “our flats” and not “my flats”.
The five petitioners, one of whom is cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, have alleged that Sharif and his family made assets in London through money laundering.
Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and rejected the charges of illegal transfer of any money from Pakistan. Earlier, as the hearing in the Panamagate case resumed, Sharif’s counsel submitted the premier’s replies to questions posed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister’s lawyer, Makhdoom Ali Khan, submitted details regarding various offices that Nawaz Sharif has held during his political career.
The top court has sought a timeline of the public offices Sharif, 64, has held during his entire political career in order to determine possible conflict of interests in overseeing his family business and officiating official responsibilities, Dawn newspaper reported.
The question became relevant in view of the allegations of a conflict of interest, especially when there was no money trail in the shape of banking transactions to establish how sale proceeds of the Gulf Steel Mills in the UAE got invested in Jeddah or Qatar, Justice Khosa observed earlier, wondering whether the then prime minister was using his official position for the transfer of the money.
Explaining further, Justice Khosa had observed that it was in 1999 that the family of the prime minister went to Saudi Arabia and it seemed that as sum of 12 million dirham proceeds from the sale of Gulf Steel remained parked somewhere and was even available for investment in Jeddah after a gap of almost two decades.
The court also made it clear on Wednesday that it would not grant any adjournment on any pretext and continue hearing day to day till the conclusion of the case.As owner of the Ittefaq Group, a leading Pakistani business conglomerate, he is also one of the country’s wealthiest people.