Islamabad, July 28: A five-judge bench of Pakistan Supreme Court announcing the Panama Papers verdict has disqualified Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, for not being honest to the nation on Friday.
The Pakistan’s apex court also ordered a case against the Prime Minister to be referred to the National Accountability Bureau. The process will be overseen by a single-member implementation bench of the apex court.
The bench also directed that the president should now begin the process of electing the new prime minister as per the law. The Panamagate case is being heard by a three-member bench of the SC, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
Notably, the six-member JIT's damning report, submitted after a 60-day investigation that sought answers to 13 questions raised by the Supreme Court's larger bench, had maintained that Prime Minister’s family owned assets beyond its known sources of income. It declared that both sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were used as proxies to build family assets.
The case, concerning allegations of money laundering by Sharif in 1990s when he twice served as Prime Minister to purchase assets in London, was launched on November 3, 2016, and the court held 35 hearings before concluding the proceedings on February 23 this year. The assets surfaced when Panama Papers last year showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children.
The case in the Supreme Court was based on several identical petitions by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and others about alleged illegal assets of the Prime Minister Sharif's family in London.