Panama decision to be announced tomorrow

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

The landmark verdict will be announced in Courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has blamed India for scuttling the Saarc summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad past year.

The roster shows that two of the three judges on the special Panama case implementation bench will be out of Islamabad from next week until August 11.

As the six-member JIT submitted its final report before SC on July 10, a three member bench comprising Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan then heard the case for five days during which counsels of the petitioners and respondents presented their arguments on different aspects of the JIT report.

In a 3-2 split decision, the majority judges determined that the available evidence was insufficient to disqualify the prime minister outright and directed for the formation of a JIT to investigate the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or any of his dependents or benamidar owns, possesses or acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to their known means of income".

Gallup Pakistan, one of the country's leading research agency, conducted an opinion poll where it asked citizens whether they think the prime minister should file a case against the high-powered Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and its revelations in the Panamagate scandal or accept the damning report and stay away from politics.

The delay could be shocking to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party after its chief Imran Khan yesterday urged the apex court to issue the verdict without any further delay.

The Prime Minister's family was named in the Panama Papers, which comprised 11.5 million documents, showing how some of the world's most powerful people secreted away their money in offshore holdings.

The Supreme Court's decision in the case is keenly awaited as it would determine the course of Pakistan's polity and with it Sharif's.

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