Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would soon get know his political fate with the country’s Supreme Court saying on Thursday that it would provide a detailed judgement in the high-profile Panama Leaks case.The apex court, which completed hearing the case on Thursday, reserved its verdict to a later date.
The case pertains to investments allegedly made by Prime Minister Sharif and members of his family in Mossack Fonseca, an offshore investment company.
The investment came to light as part of a massive leak of secret files from a Panamanian law firm that is a specialised consultant dealing in the setting up of offshore companies in tax havens.
Prime Minister Sharif, 67, has denied any wrongdoing. Heading a five-judge bench hearing a slew of petitions against Sharif family, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed that 26,000 pages were submitted in the case and the judges will read “each word” of it.
He observed that it was not a case wherein a short order could be passed. “The court will decide the case only after considering the material submitted in the court and will announce its verdict in accordance with the law and Constitution,” Justice Khosa was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
“We will decide this case only by the law; such that people will say, 20 years down the line, that this judgement was made by the book,” Justice Khosa said.
Data from the Panama Papers, available on the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had revealed the offshore holdings of members of Prime Minister Sharif’s family.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, Sharif’s children - Mariam, Hasan and Hussain - “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”, Dawn newspaper said.
All eyes are on the verdict of the case which took 26 days of the Supreme Court. “The Panama case changed the political landscape of the country, which was torn between two groups; the first comprising of all of the political opposition including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the second belonging to supporters of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz,” Geo TV reported on its website.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was present in the court. Also in attendance were Jamat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj-ul-Haq and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would respect whatever decision would be given by the Supreme Court in the case. He said the court’s decision was about to come and all the parties in the case should get ready to accept it.“You may have your own reservations and feelings but you have to respect the court’s decision,” he said.