Islamabad: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a split verdict on the highly anticipated Panama Papers case, issuing an order for the formation of Joint Investigation Team to probe the Sharif family’s involvement in corruption as stated in the Panama leaks.
The court orders Sharif and his two sons to appear before the JIT, which would consist officials from different agencies including Military Intelligence.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa began announcing the final verdict in the Panamagate case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family at Courtroom 1 at the apex court.
A five-judge bench, comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, had examined arguments presented by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Watan Party and the All Pakistan Muslim League, who framed the case out of court as a campaign against corruption.
The final verdict is split 3-2 among the bench, DawnNews reported, with two dissenting notes in the judgement. Justice Ejaz authored the 540-page verdict, according to TV reports.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, retired Capt Muhammad Safdar (the PM’s son-in-law) and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar are the respondents in the case.
The petitioners had touted the revelations brought forth in the Panama Papers, published by the International Consortium of Journalists on April 3, 2016, as ‘evidence’ that the premier had lied to the nation in an address to Parliament where he ‘explained’ his position following the leaks.
Islamabad’s Red Zone, where the Supreme Court is located, had been on ‘red alert’, with around 1,500 police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel deployed in and around the area for security and to maintain peace. Police officials, including Special Branch officials, were deployed for intelligence gathering and timely responses.