SC adjourns Panama Papers case till Thursday

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 25 (APP): The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned hearing of four identical petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others seeking investigation into the Panama Papers till Thursday.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, heard the case.
During the course of proceedings, Advocate Shahid Hamid, counsel for Mariam Nawaz, resumed his arguments and read out parts of a written statement submitted by his client before the court.
He said Mariam Nawaz did not own any property outside Pakistan and London flats belonged to her brother and he admitted to owning them.
He said the case had no special significance as Mariam Nawaz was an ordinary citizen. He argued that even if it was assumed that the flats belonged to Mariam Nawaz, there was nothing special to it as she was not dependent upon her father.
He said the petitioner was responsible to prove allegations instead of the defendant.
Shahid Hamid argued that signatures on the documents regarding Minerva Holdings were fake and that the court could arrive at the same conclusion if it compared the signature on the documents with her original signature.
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that only an expert would be able to compare the two signatures and that the judges lacked the capacity to make that judgment on their own.
Justice Khosa observed that the documents had been leaked by the International Centre for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and it was not possible for the parties to the case to go all the way to Panama and check all documents with Mariam Nawaz’s signature on them.
It is to be mentioned here that Jamat-i-Islami lawyer Taufiq Asif, Prime Minister’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan, PTI lawyer Naeem Bukhari and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid have already completed their arguments in the case.