Supreme Court adjourns Panamagate case until Nov 30

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The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed hearing the Panamagate case calling for disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's counsel Hamid Khan started provision of evidence by bringing forth the Panama Papers, saying that April 3 leaks first brought the matter to light as it mentioned PM Nawaz and his family members.

Khan added that the PM had given three speeches regarding the Panama Papers. He read out two of these speeches in court today.

The first speech, dated April 5, was delivered by PM Nawaz Sharif in the National Assembly, and dismissed the allegations levelled against him in the Panama leaks.

A speech also divulged the details of the PM's assets and explained how he had acquired them, starting with the Bhutto era to the Musharraf era.

The speech also alleged that the PPP preventing the Sharif family's factories from running.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who was heading the bench, raised a question about the ownership and value of the flats being discussed in the case.

Jamali asked how PM Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif and Hussain Nawaz could prove ownership of these flats.

British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994, were not the owners of the flats based in London's Mayfair area in 1999, Justice Azeem Saeed remarked, adding that evidence regarding the matter needs to be brought to court.

The PM's counsel said it appeared as though the case is targeting one person in particular, not corruption in general.

As the current request is against the prime minister, Justice Jamali said there is nothing wrong with starting accountability from one person.

He added that the process of accountability could start with one person and then move onto other people.

Petitioner Advocate Tariq Asad, wished to submit a new request in court today.

CJP Jamali replied saying that six to seven requests are submitted in court everyday. "The case will never end if we keep accepting requests," he said. "The requests are sidetracking us from the main case."

Asad, in response, said he had been the first to file a request in April.

The chief justice replied saying, "You had requested that this case be taken to National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency."

Justice Azmat commented saying, "According to my understanding, NAB and FIA have not submitted any reports."

Council for Jamaat-i-Islami Asad Manzoor Butt said, "NAB and FIA are not doing their job and being complacent."

The CJP replied that are NAB and FIA are there to take salaries, but when it comes to work they make the excuse that the case does not fall into their jurisdiction. The case has been adjourned to Nov 30.

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