SC endorses video recording of Panama JIT sessions for ensuring transparency

03:45 PM | 14 Jun, 2017
SC endorses video recording of Panama JIT sessions for ensuring transparency
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan endorsed the recording of sessions of six-member Joint Investigation Team with the witnesses appearing before it, in the purview of the probe into money trail of Sharif family.

Heading the three-member bench formed to oversee the JIT's probe into the prime minister's offshore assets, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that recording was done to ensure authenticity.

"Proceedings of the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) are recorded on video so an authentic record of the investigation can be maintained," remarked Justice Ejaz.

During Wednesday's hearing, Hassan's counsel Khawaja Harris reiterated his client’s plea that video recording of JIT proceedings should not be done.

“JIT has no control on the CCTV cameras,” he said, commenting on the JIT's report on the issue which was submitted to the court on Monday.

He also submitted a reply regarding the detailed report submitted by the Wajid Zia-led JIT.

Responding to the concerns, Justice Ejaz observed that recordings were carried out to maintain accurate transcripts, adding that the facts of the case are not being affected by the procedure.

"The nature of statements also does not change because of it," he commented further.

Surprisingly, when Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed asked the attorney general (AG) whether he had read the JIT’s report submitted in court on Monday, the AG replied in the negative.

The apex court reserved the judgment regarding the photo leak of Hussain Nawaz and adjourned the hearing till Thursday (tomorrow).

It bears mentioning that in the aforementioned report, the Joint Investigation Team portrayed government departments including the PM house in a bad light for obstructing justice in the backdrop of Panama papers probe.

According to the detailed reply submitted by the Wajid Zia led investigative team, PM House, Intelligence Bureau (IB), SECP, NAB, FBR, Law Ministry and other related departments were hindering the investigations into the dealings of the ruling Sharif family.

PM's Summoning

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be making his first appearance before the Joint Investigation Team on Thursday to record his statement.

The prime minister has been advised to bring along the documents related to the case. PM house had clarified that the premier would be appearing before the team.

Nawaz Sharif has also barred his party workers from assembling at the federal judicial academy where the JIT secretariat is located.

It was also murmured that finance minister Ishaq Dar would also be summoned during the current week as his name was mentioned during the hearing of Panama case in connection with Hudaibya Paper Mills case.