Panama Papers probe: Nawaz Sharif did not hide any assets, lawyer tells Pakistan Supreme Court

Islamabad: A day after Pakistan's Supreme Court inquired about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's money trail, his counsel said details of all his assets had been presented to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Sharif had provided details of all assets and sources of income in the form of tax returns that was mandated to probe allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family, Dawn quoted senior counsel Khawaja Harris as telling the three-member apex bench.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

On the court's observation that Sharif had remained evasive in answering the JIT's questions, Harris said the team had not inquired about any other properties, maintaining that his client had not concealed any assets, nor did he own any benami properties.

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 maintained that the prime minister's relatives had also not concealed any assets.

During Tuesday's hearing, the court had asked about Sharif's money trail, saying: "We've been waiting for it since day one."

The prime minister and his family members had remained evasive in answering the questions put forward by the JIT, it added.

The apex bench had also asked counsel whether the judges should form their own opinion on the concealment of facts or refer the matter to an accountability court.

Harris had argued that the JIT had exceeded its mandate by recommending the Supreme Court to reopen 15 cases against Sharif. He also questioned authenticity of the documents obtained from Britain and the UAE that were included in the JIT's report.

The bench had resumed the Panamagate case on Monday, nearly three months after ordering the formation of a JIT to investigate the allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family.

Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 14:35 PM

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