The Supreme Court of Pakistan constituted a five member bench to make a decision on the Panama Paper leaks and whether Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family were eligible for government offices. Today, the bench released its final decision on the subject after a 60-day investigation from the SC appointed JIT.
It is now public knowledge that the decision came against the Sharif family. Members of the family have been disqualified and Nawaz Sharif has been forced to relinquish his office as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
However, there’s more to the case and several points that did not make their way to the public. We have compiled a list of important findings and the judgement of the Supreme Court judges.
Here’s What You Need to Know
A list of important findings during the Panama case can be viewed by our readers below:
- The JIT collected enough evidence to prove that Nawaz Sharif, his dependents and benamidars own, possess and have acquired assets which are disproportionate to their known sources of income and they failed to account for these assets.
- Authentic documents of correspondence between Mr. Errol George, Director Financial Investigating Agency and the Anti-Money Laundering Officer of Mossack Fonseca & Co. (B.V.I.) Limited confirm that Maryam Nawaz is the beneficial owner of the Avenfield apartments.
- This proves that the trustee document was fake
- Use of Calibri font before its release is another circumstance through which it can be inferred that the documents were fake.
- Narrative of Tariq Shafi regarding receipt of 12 million AED on sale of 25% shares of Ahli Steel Mills formerly known as Gulf Steel Mills is false
- Whatever has been mentioned in the Qatari letters is unverifiable as the person in question never confirmed it through a legal method before the JIT.
- Respondents failed to supply evidence regarding money trail.
- Differences between first Qatari letter and Tariq Shafi’s letter shows that neither are credible.
- Story about trail of money is seriously marred by inconsistencies surfacing in the statements of the respondents recorded by the JIT.
- No proof of transporting machinery from Dubai to Jeddah
- No explanation on how entire amount of 63.1 SAR million was used by Hussain Nawaz even though he was entitled to only 1/3rd of it.
- No evidence for the sources for the Hill Metal Establishment.
- Nawaz Sharif failed to disclose his assets with regards to being the Chairman of Capital FZE, enough to call for a disqualification. Disclosure was a must under Section 12(2)(f) of Representation of the People Act, 1976.
- His point that he did not receive any salary is proven wrong by the Wage Protection System, under Ministerial Resolution No. (788) for 2009 on Wage Protection used by United Arab Emirates Ministry of Labour and Rules 11(6) and 11(7) of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Rules which says that all salaries are transferred electronically to all employees.
- Any receivables are also assets and must be declared under law. Since Nawaz Sharif did not say that he cannot receive the salary that means it can be withdrawn later and is an asset.
- Assets of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz have grown manifold despite all of their businesses running in losses.
- Facts and figures show that inflows and outflows of Hill Metal establishment were also fabricated.
After considering the above mentioned points and listening to the defence and considerations of the defence, the judges came to the following conclusions:
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified as a Member of the Parliament with immediate effect. As a result of this, cabinet has been dissolved as well.
- Maryam Nawaz is liable to prosecution for forgery.
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified under Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999 for not being able to justify his own and his family’s assets.
- Evidence reveals that a triable case under Section 9, 10 and 15 of the Ordinance will be made out against Nawaz Sharif and his children for the 16 offshore companies.
- A reference be filed against Ishaq Dar whose assets have increased from Rs. 9.11 million to 831.70 million.
- A reference will be filed against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Captain Safdar for the Avenfield apartments. NAB will consider “the material already collected” which was obtained “during the course of investigations conducted earlier.”
- PM Nawaz Sharif is not honest under Section 99 of Article 62 because he hid his company in Dubai and furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation. ECP has been directed to send a notification of disqualification.
- 2 references will be filed against Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz regarding Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment.
- Another reference will be field against Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his income. Hence, he is disqualified from his government office.
- NAB is ordered to file more references if any new property is discovered.
- NAB has to file references within six weeks and Accountability Court shall complete the process in six months.
- If Accountability Court finds any documents which are fake or forged, then it will take appropriate action against the person.
- Chief Justice of Pakistan will appoint one of the five judges to look after the proceedings by NAB and Accountability Court.
For those who want to read the whole 25 page judgement, the official judgement document can be downloaded from here.