Panama case: final round begins today

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Panamagate case enters today what may likely be its final round as the Supreme Court will hear responses of all the parties over the joint investigation team (JIT)’s report.  All eyes are fixed on the Supreme Court as the future course of the over-year long episode is likely to be determined by the honourable judges on Monday.  The JIT, formed in light of the apex court’s April 20 judgment to probe the Sharif family’s money trail, submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10. The report highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children own assets beyond their known sources of income. Following the report’s submission, the special bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, issued notices to the parties to submit their responses.  The petitioners include Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed and Jamaat-e-Isami head Sirajul Haq while the respondents include the prime minister, his family members, and several government officials and departments. The bench is expected to begin proceedings at 9:30am today. Since the last hearing a week ago, following which the JIT report became public, the opposition parties stand near-unanimous in their demand for the prime minister to resign whereas the prime minister, doubting the report’s veracity, has vowed to stay in office ‘till the end’.

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