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Panamagate case: SC asks Sharif lawyers to establish ownership of Minerva Financial Services Ltd

Panamagate case: SC asks Sharif lawyers to establish ownership of Minerva Financial Services Ltd

The Supreme Court continued hearing the Panamagate case on Friday for the third consecutive day.

Naeem Bokhari, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) lead counsel alleged that the owner of the London flats is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Bokhari claimed the flats had been bought between 1993-1996, under the name of the premier's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who he said was underage at the time.

The PTI's lead counsel claimed Maryam Nawaz was only made a beneficiary 'for show'. He added that the premier had gifted his daughter Rs37 million in 2011, and that gifts of over Rs30m were given in 2013.

Explore: PML-N papers: The Sharif family and the gifts they keep on giving

At the time of the purchase, Maryam Nawaz had no income of her own, he alleged.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who was heading the larger bench hearing the case, cautioned the Sharif lawyers that if they were unable to establish ownership of Minerva Financial Services Limited, the court would have to 'imagine' that what PTI lawyers claim is true.

PTI has been trying to establish that Maryam Nawaz, and not her brother Hussain Nawaz as claimed by the party earlier, was the beneficial owner of Minerva which held Nescoll Limited and Nielson Enterprises Limited — the owners of the four London flats.

Read more: PML-N papers: Purchase of London flats and the Al-Thani connection

Justice Khosa warned those involved in the case that the court has the power to summon past records and should not be deemed powerless.

PTI counsel Naeem Bokhari submitted an interview given by Haroon Pasha, the prime minister's financial adviser, as evidence in court. Maryam Nawaz's reply was also submitted in court today.

The Supreme Court proposed calling members of the prime minister’s family to examine whether they would abide by the stance they had taken on four London flats in their previous statements, on Thursday.

The suggestion came when Bokhari sought the court’s permission to refer to a number of interviews given by the prime minister, his wife and children on different occasions to highlight that every member of the Sharif family had taken a divergent stand on the ownership of the properties in London’s Park Lane.

However, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said that calling the members of the PM’s family would come into play if the court decided to record their evidence in the Panamagate case, which it was not doing now.

The hearing has been adjourned until Monday, Jan 9.

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