By: Mamoon Ahmed Alvi

The Panama papers scandal was brought up in 2015 showing the details of more than 2 lac offshore companies and consisted of more than 11 million documents were revealed, consisting upon the list of clients of a Panamian Law Firm Mossack Fonesca by a German journalist named as Bastian Obermayer later on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists populary known as “ICIJ” published an even more detailed report gathered by multiple reporters of different countries on their website.

The document of Panama Papers revealed a list of offshore properties by multiple billioniares including athletes,beureaucrats and politicians i-e (Viladimir Putin, David Cameron, PM of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, King Suleman of Saudi Arabia,Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and many other notable polticians and royal family members of various countries).

As a result David Cameron forced to resign from his office while Icelandic PM was sent home too on public pressure.

Panama Papers in Pakistan:

According to Panama Papers then sitting Prime Minister’s all three children were declared owners and benificiaries of various luxurious properties in UK owned by offshore companies Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited whose benificiaries were Maryam Nawaz, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz.

Although various other Pakistani leaders such as Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan and Imran Khan himself declared as benificiaries of certain offshore companies and properties.

But opposition forced PML-N’s governmet to start probe against their own Prime Minister and his family on 5th April PM Nawaz Sharif announced to start a free and fair trial of the scandal led by sitting judges from Supreme Court of Paksitan.

The Panama Papers Case:

Defence panel told the court that PM Nawaz has no direct connection with the properties those properties were earned by his children through business and some properties were bought via money gifted from a Qatari Prince, lawyers from opposition told the court that all the three children of PM Nawaz were too young to earn these properties themselves as court proceedings went forward opposition revealed to court that PM Nawaz is currently an employee working for a foreign company owned by his Sons and he misinterpreted the election commission at the time of elections and he is unfit to be a Parliamentarian according to section 62 and 63 as he is not “Sadiq-o-Ameen” as a result of it court disqualified the then PM Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz went to appeal and asked the court that what will be the tenure of his disqualification in light of your judgement, at the end he got a disqualification for life, and ordered further investigation for above described properties.

Three further cases were registered against Nawaz, Ishaq Dar, Capt: Safdar and Maryam Nawaz by NAB as a result of court verdict.

Avenfield reference icluded a reference related to Flagship Investment Limited and other companies, Azizia Steel Mills and properties in Avenfield House, London, United Kindom, fourth and the last reference was filed against Dar for having assests more than his income.

In first three references NAB included section-9 of NAB ordinance 1999 which was dealing with illegal money exchange and gifts, whose approximate punishment was 14 years of imprisonment alongwith heavy fines and might end up freezing of assets of both Ishaq Dar and NAwaz Sharif.

Case Detailed History:

Oct 17: Sharif family was included in the case.

Dec 17: Both sons of Mian Nawaz were declared as proclaimed offenders for not showing up before court.

Feb 18: Feorensic report told the court that Calibri font was available in limited version since 2005.

March 18: Court extended case proceedings time by 2 months and statements were recorded by different members of Sharif family.

June 18: NAB prosecutor told the court that Nawaz is the actual owner of the properties, defence council’s Khuwaja Haris withdrew from the case and Cheif Justice of Pakistan ordered to complete trial within one month.

Jul 18: Court ruled on July 6th that Nawaz was failed to present money trail for proving himself innocent and his assets are worth more than his income and he has direct connection with the properties but NAB was not able to provide enough evidence to prove his corruption and sentenced Nawaz Sharif for 10 years in jail and 8 million pounds fine along with seizing Avenfield properties, while Maryam Nawaz was sentenced for 8 years in jail and 2 million pounds of fine, while her husband Capt: (R) Safdar was sentenced 1 year in jail with no fine for assisting his Father-in-Law and for presenting misinterpreted evidences.

The Sharif Family Surrender:

As a result Captain (R) Safdar was arrested on the next day in light of the SC verdict while court ordered to arrest both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar upon their arrival, while PML-N head and former Prime Minister refused to take asylum in United Kingdom and returned to Pakistan on 13th July and presented himself and his daughter for arrest.

The Appeal Against Avenfield Verdict

On 16th of July, Sharif family’s defence council challenged the court verdict against their clients (Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (R) Safdar.