Sharif did not conceal any offshore assets, lawyer tells Pak SC

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Lahore[Pakistan], July 19,(ANI): Referring to the Pakistan Supreme Court's observation that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had remained evasive in answering questions put forward by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) with regard to the money trail, his counsel Khawaja Harris said that the JIT had not inquired about any other properties, maintaining that his client had not concealed any assets, nor did he own any benami properties. The three-member bench of the Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the Panama Papers implementation case till Thursday. In today's hearing, Harris completed his arguments and said under the law no person could be held responsible for any property or assets owned by his relatives or associates. He said there is no authentic evidence in the JIT report that anyone has held properties abroad on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Harris on Wednesday told the three-member apex bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, that the prime minister had provided details of all assets and sources of income in the form of tax returns and raised a number of objections over the JIT report. "The real question is where did the money for the Sharif family's properties in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and London come from?"Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked. "We have not yet received an answer to this fundamental question." Harris said Prime Minister had presented details of all his assets and sources of income in the form of tax returns to the joint investigation team (JIT) that was mandated to probe allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family. "We will take a decision after looking at all the evidence," Justice Ejaz Afzal told Harris as he completed his arguments before the bench. "Bring the [money trail] record and the discussion on the documents will end,"the Dawn reported. "Have you also brought a Qatari letter with you?" Justice Azmat Saeed asked Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's lawyer as he began his arguments before the bench. "If you have a lot of objections, you should go to the trial court," Justice Azmat Saeed remarked. Harris argued that according to the laws of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), "an individual cannot be held accountable for the properties and assets that are in the name of his wife and children." He added that the PM's relatives had also not concealed any assets. The judges pointed to the Gulf Steel Mills/Gifts of the JIT's report contains "dangerous" documents and talks about the trust deed of the four Avenfield flats in London's Park Lane neighbourhood, executed between Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz in February 2006, which was declared false by the JIT in its report over. The bench had reminded the PM's lawyer that the onus of establishing a money trail after claiming ownership of the Avenfield flats was on the Sharif family, adding that the money trail of the flats "remained shrouded in mystery - even to this day." Harris had argued that the JIT had exceeded its mandate by recommending the SC to reopen 15 cases against his client.(ANI)
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