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Panama Papers case: PM Nawaz Sharif's legal team dismisses JIT report

The panel submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10, pointing out discrepancies in the wealth details of Sharif and members of his family Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 17, 2017, 04.26 AM (IST)

PM Nawaz Sharif's legal team has dismissed as "illegal and biased" the Panama Papers probe by Pakistan's Joint investigation team (JIT). 

The Joint Investigation Team in its final report recommended the filing of graft case against him and his children as the Supreme Court resumed the hearing of the Panama Papers graft case.

The JIT was formed after the Supreme Court’s judgment on April 20  to probe Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family's offshore business dealings. 

The panel submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10, pointing out discrepancies in the wealth details of Sharif and members of his family. 

The report found them “guilty” of being beneficial owners of multiple offshore companies, and recommended initiation of reference against Sharif and his family members in the National Accountability Bureau.

Following the report, the special bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, issued notices to the parties to submit their responses.

The opposition parties have been demanding the prime minister’s resignation since the JIT report became public. 

Khawja Harris on behalf of PM Sharif filed a response to the JIT report, rejecting its findings and accusing it of bias and violation of the original mandate, reports PTI. 

"The JIT report is not only against the law but also the constitution of the country and its finding are, therefore, of no legal value," he said.
 

Khawja Harris also objected to the documents obtained from the foreign countries, which he said was against laws of the country. He asked the court to provide the volume 10 of the report which was kept confidential on JIT's request.

Harris also urged the court to reject the JIT report. Finance minister Ishaq Dar on his behalf separately submitted objections over the JIT report in the Supreme Court registrar's office.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s brother and current Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif over allegations of conflict of interest. The plea alleges that Shahbaz "violated his oath" that he took when he assumed the office of Punjab chief minister as he remained involved in his private business despite holding a public office. 

The petition would be heard by the Lahore High Court on Tuesday.

Pak Army distances itself

The Pakistan Army has said that it has no direct link with the Panama case Joint Investigation Team against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, 

Reports had claimed that the army is part of a controversy to remove the civilian government. 

Geo News quoted major general Asif Ghafoor, director general, of Pakistan Army’s media wing as saying, "I don't think this even merits a response. I have shown you what the army is doing".

Gafoor faced a flurry of questions on the Panamagate controversy during a press conference, ANI reported.

He said the members of the JIT worked with honesty and dedication and added that "it is a sub-judice matter and the Supreme Court will make its decision in the case".

Nawaz Sharif is the first sitting premier to appear before a team probing graft charges (WION)

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