The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday announced the formation of a joint investigation team to look into the Panama Papers case and investigate charges against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The court gave the team two months’ time to complete its inquiry. However, they will have to present a progress report every two weeks, reported The Express Tribune.
The decision was taken after the five-judge bench remained divided over the verdict. While two of the judges suggested to disqualify Sharif, three others voted for more investigation into the case. The joint team team, which will be formed within seven days, will have representatives from National Accountability Bureau, the military, security exchange commission and the Federal Investigation Agency, among others. The court also asked the Sharif’s two sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – to appear before the team.
The leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, had revealed the hidden offshore wealth of some of the world’s top leaders and celebrities. According to the documents, Sharif’s children Maryam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
On Wednesday, Sharif’s daughter Maryam had tweeted that her father was not worried about the Supreme Court verdict. “Not for once have I seen my father or any member of the family anxious or concerned. That’s what happens when you entrust your matters to Allah,” she said. Ahead of the verdict, the Karachi Stock Exchange traded lower on Thursday, reported BBC.
The case was launched in the court against Sharif in November last year based on several petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan and others. Pakistan’s apex court bench had said in November last year that it will appoint an investigation commission that will be headed by a judge and equipped with the powers of the Supreme Court.