Why Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, SC reveals in full Panama Case verdict

  • The ex-PM's review petitions rejected by the Supreme Court
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s top court has said the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified for trying to “fool the people inside and outside the the Parliament” by hiding his assets – the undeclared salary from his son’s company.

Nawaz Sharif was forced to resign from office after the Supreme Court declared him unworthy of occupying the country’s highest political office following a probe into his family’s wealth revealed in the Panama leaks. The court also recommended criminal cases against Sharif, his daughter, Maryam, and her husband. The country’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, was also penciled down for prosecution.

The court issued a 23-page detailed verdict Tuesday, rejecting review petitions filed by the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case.

Here is the full verdict on the review petitions filed against the SC verdict on Panama Papers Case.

No error has been identified in the Panama case, which could be reviewed and the accountability court is free to make a decision on the basis of nature of evidence, the verdict read. The trial court has the authority to reject weak evidence.

“The facts about disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister were uncontroversial,” the apex court observed in its verdict.

The 23-page verdict stated that observation given in the Panama case verdict are of temporary nature. “The accountability court is free to review evidence in accordance with the law,” it read.

The directions to finish the trial in six months are not meant for influencing the trial court, but for early completion of the trial.

The apex court, in its verdict, also addressed the appointment of a Supreme Court judge to supervise the trial.

Appointing a supervising judge is not a new thing; the measure is taken to avoid any negligence during the trial, it said.

It cannot be imagined that the supervising judge will influence the trial, it added.

The bench also dismissed the argument that there was no connection between captain Safdar and the Avenfield apartments as, it said, his spouse Maryam Nawaz “prima facie happens to be the beneficial owner” of the property.

The review petitions against the July 28 Panama Papers judgement filed by the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar had already been dismissed by the apex court via a short order in September.

‘Victim is not NS but justice itself’

Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the ex-PM’s daughter, immediately reacted to the court’s decision.

Since his disqualification, Sharif has insisted that he committed no wrongdoing.

The Panama leaks revealed that three of Sharif’s children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement. The companies were used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London’s Mayfair area.

Nawaz Sharif served as prime minister from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 before he was removed in a bloodless coup in October 1999. He was one year from completing an unprecedented third term in office before Friday’s resignation.