SUPREME COURT RESUMES HEARING IN PANAMAGATE CASE
From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court resumed hearing in the Panamagate case yesterday, the Sharif family submitted its objections to the report prepared by a joint investigation team (JIT) that probed its financial history and claims to have found glaring discrepancies in the family’s sources of income and their actual wealth. PM Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris, in the objections, dismissed the JIT report as “eyewash” based on “mala fide” intentions. “The entire investigation was a farce and an eyewash and was undertaken with a predisposed mind to malign and implicate the respondents in some wrongdoing or the other,” the objections said. A copy of the document detailing the objections says that the JIT did not share its evidence with the defendants while recording their statements, therefore depriving them of a chance to “explain their position”, which it termed a violation of their basic rights. Another objection raised by the Sharif family is that the JIT has “sought to mislead” the court by hiring private foreign firms to help collect evidence — through what the JIT described as Mutual Legal Assistance requests — in violation of the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999, rendering them “inadmissible” as evidence. In light of these points, the statement says, “none of these documents can be relied upon, nor can their contents be considered to form the basis of any averse finding against any of the Respondents”.