JIT drew its own conclusion from UAE letter: Sharif family lawyer pleads

🕔 Posted on: July 20, 2017 - 18:06 👁 Views: 107

JIT drew its own conclusion from UAE letter: Sharif family lawyer pleads

All Round View (Islamabad): Counsel for Sharif family Salman Akram Raja in the Panama papers case on Thursday said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) drew its own conclusion from the letter
sent by Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Appearing before the three-member special implementation bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, the counsel for the prime minister’s scions said that the JIT did not ask any question about the letter from Hussain Nawaz.

He alleged that the JIT did not make the verified documents submitted by Hussain Nawaz as a part of its report. He said Hussain was not asked questions regarding the UAE Justice Ministry’s letter during his appearance before the JIT.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan remarked that JIT verified documents from Dubai, UAE. Salman Raja said that UAE administration in response to the JIT letter stated that neither 12 million Dirhams nor steel cargo was shipped to Qatar.

Salman Raja said that the court should grant time for submitting verified documents after getting them from the Dubai government. Salman Akram Raja also submitted more documents on behalf of his clients, including one acquired from Abu Dhabi Customs to prove that machinery from the Gulf Steel Mills did move from Dubai after its liquidation, and an invoice from Ahli Steel Company confirming the shipment of dismantled rolling mill equipment from the Al-Azizia Steel Company. He also presented documents detailing cargo shipments from UAE to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The bench remarked that as per the record of the steel company 21 million Saudi Riyals were overdue.
The lawyer replied that these documents were obtained by the JIT through its own sources which claimed that Azizia steel mill was sold for 42 million Riyals instead of 63 million Riyals.

Justice Ijaz asked whether someone else cleared the dues of Azizia Mills. Upon this Salman Akram replied that he could confirm it after getting information from his clients. Justice Ijaz remarked that there were three partners in the Azizia Steel Mill but the mill was solely sold by Hussain Nawaz.

He asked whether Hussain Nawaz bought shares of other partners as earlier it was told the court that Power of Attorney was available but it was not submitted before the court. Salman Akram said that it was a settlement between family members and no written document was available in that regard. Justice Ijaz asked the lawyer to prove his claim through documents that others were also given their due shares.

Salman replied that the JIT did not ask this question. He said that witnesses can be summoned over selling of Azizia Mill. The other two shareholders also did not challenge the sale deed, he added. Justice Ijaz remarked that the prime minister’s scions were residing in the London apartments since 1993, but the court could not find sources of income and money trail of their purchase.

The lawyer also presented a document from JPCA Ltd dealing with the ownership of Nescoll and Neilsen as well as papers from Minerva Financial Services Limited, the holding firm for both companies. Salman Raja also submitted a 17-page objection on the JIT report to the court, pleading for dismissal of the report and its evidence. The application objects to the source material used by the JIT in its final report, saying it is unverified.

At the outset of hearing the bench expressed its displeasure over the issuance of Qatari prince’s letter to media and remarked that the documents submitted by Salman Raja were already being debated in the media.

Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that there was a media trial outside the court. There’s a media podium outside the court and he should give his arguments there as well, he added. In response, Salman Akram Raja said that he had not provided the media with any material or documents.

He objected to the JIT’s conclusion that recording Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani’s statement would be unnecessary, urging the court that there should be a complete inquiry into the matter.

The court, however, dismissed further investigation into the case, saying that since the JIT had completed its work, the documents regarding two Qatari letters had been sent to the Registrar and the
court decision will be based on the documents.

The judges said that the court would give its decision based on the documents and evidence not on the basis of JIT recommendations.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that if the prime minister’s children failed to give convincing answers on the money trail, the public office holder would have to face its consequences.

Justice Azmat Saeed pointed out that Al-Thani was asked to appear before the court in Pakistan, or record his statement at the Pakistan Embassy in Doha, but he declined both the options.

“Are we all supposed to go to Doha?” he asked.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan asked to show the law’s firm account through which the transactions were made. “This is not Panama or Africa, it is England and all the records will be available,” he added.

The lawyer said Prince Al-Thani can give answer about the missing records, to which the court remarked that the Qatari prince had refused to answer even via video link.

An official letter from Sheikh Al-Thani addressed to the JIT dated July 17, 2017 was also submitted in the court, in which the former Qatari prime minister verified that he had not received any confirmation yet from the JIT regarding his appearance before any court of law in Pakistan, or tribunal for any purpose whatsoever.

The Qatari prince added that upon receiving such confirmation, he would propose a meeting in Doha in the coming week with the JIT to confirm the veracity of his previous two statements.

Justice Ijaz observed that producing the Qatari prince before the JIT was Hussain’s responsibility as the Prince was his `star witness.’

Justice Azmat aked Salman Akram Raja to answer about law firm Mossack Fonseca’s claim that Maryam is the owner of the London properties.

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JIT drew its own conclusion from UAE letter: Sharif family lawyer pleads

🕔 Posted on: July 20, 2017 - 18:06 👁 Views: 107 👤 Posted By: Tamseelah Qamar Hashmi, the News Editor, All Round View

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