PM, children change legal team, once again Makhdoom Ali Khan to represent Nawaz instead of Salman Aslam Butt * Instead of Akram Sheikh, Shahid Hamid to plead case of Maryam, SafdarISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister and his children have once again shown the door to their legal team and hired new counsel to plead the Panamagate Case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It is the second time that the premier and his children have changed their counsel in Panamagate cases.
In a recent development, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is alleged to have established offshore companies in the name of his children to buy property in UK from laundered money, has appointed senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan to the case. Sources privy to the development said that the premier’s family and his close aides were unhappy over the arguments of Salman Aslam Butt in the previous hearings of the Panamagate-related petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.
During the course of previous hearing taken up by the five-judge larger bench headed by then Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Salman Aslam Butt had told the court that premier’s speeches in parliament after the Panama Leaks were merely political statements.
The top court will take up the matter on Wednesday (today) in fresh petitions due to the reconstitution of five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. Replacing Butt, senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan will appear before the bench to represent Nawaz Sharif. However, Butt will remain the counsel for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Likewise, the premier’s daughter Maryam Safdar and her husband Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar have also hired the services of senior lawyer Shahid Hamid to plead their case in the same matter. Prior to the new hiring, Advocate Akram Sheikh was pleading the case of premier’s children. Likewise, Salman Akram Raja would appear on behalf of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, the premier’s sons.
Just a day before the hearing of the Panamagate case, the legal team of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has brought a series of emails exchanged between Mossack Fonseca and Minerva Trust & Corporation Services Limited apparently proving that the prime minister’s daughter Maryam Safdar was the beneficial owner of Nescoll and Nielson companies before 2006.
During the course of a previous hearing, a larger bench headed by then chief justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had asked the PTI’s legal team to establish the connection of the premier’s children with Nescoll and Nielson before 2006. On the other hand, it is also pertinent to mention here that Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the successor of Anwar Zaheer Jamali, has constituted a five judge larger bench with two new members which will take up the Panamagate hearing on Wednesday (today) from the start.
The recent document submitted by PTI is the first document so far produced before a reconstituted five judge larger bench. Naeem Bukhari, who is heading the legal team of PTI in the Panamagate scam on Tuesday submitted the copies of emails exchanged between Mossack and Minerva Trust & Corporation Services Limited, the administrators of Nielson and Nescoll companies, along with replies to the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) of the British Virgin Islands by Mossack Fonsecka.
The document claimed that the series of emails collectively reaffirms and establishes that contrary to the stance of Maryam Safdar before the top court in previous hearings, she is and has been the beneficial owner of Nielsen and Nescoll and the Mayfair flats.
The document further claimed that any purported Trust Deed in relation to Nescoll and Nielson is fabricated to wriggle out of the allegations in the petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
The document includes the emails between Mossack Fonsecka and Minerva to obtain specific information required by Mossack to respond the queries of Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) of the British Virgin Islands.