Islamabad, Feb 16: The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in its decision concerning the Panama papers leak, asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family to produce documentary evidence to ascertain the ownership of flats in London that are under the scanner following the leaks.
After a hiatus of two weeks, the apex court resumed the hearing of the high-profile Panamagate case involving PM Sharif and his children.
According to sources, the panama leaks reveal that three of his children own offshore companies and assets not shown on his family's wealth statement. The companies identified so far include three British Virgin Islands-based companies: Nescoll Ltd, Nielsen Enterprises Ltd. and Hangon Property Holdings Ltd, incorporated in 1993, 1994 and 2007 respectively.
These companies have been allegedly used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London's Mayfair area.
The five-member bench of the SC asked the Sharif family to produce documents to establish PM's son Hussain Nawaz as the holder of Park Lane flats in London, in accordance with the family's claim.
"Where is the document which could show Hussain Nawaz is the beneficial owner of London flats?" Justice Azmat Saeed Shaikh asked Sharif family counsel, Salman Akram Raja.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading a five-judge larger bench of the apex court expressed wonder that four apartments in London's upscale area were acquired for two students -- Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz -- in 1990s.
On this, Sharif's counsel said PM Sharif's nephew Hamza Shahbaz was also studying in the UK at that time. However, he expressed his inability to provide complete documents regarding the ownership of London apartments.
"It will not be possible to give every document regarding the money trail," Raja told the larger bench, which is hearing a slew of petitions against Sharif family's alleged corruption.
Pakistan, which is due to witness its general elections in June, 2018, is believed to be affected by the outcome of the case; it will either make or break Sharif’s ambition to assume the office of PM for the fourth time.