Panama Papers Joint Investigation Team probes PM Sharif’s younger son for 7 hours

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s younger son, Hassan Nawaz, on Friday made his first appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court (SC) to probe the Panama Papers case.

Hassan Nawaz was interrogated for seven hours in the Federal Judicial Academy in the capital Islamabad after which he left the venue without talking to the media.

Hassan, who is doing business in Britain for more than a decade, recently arrived in Pakistan from London after receiving summons from the JIT. He also brought records sought by the investigators along with him.

As Hassan arrived at the Academy to record his statement before the JIT, supporters of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) present chanted slogans in the premier’s favor.

Hassan was supposed to appear before the JIT two days ago but on his request the probing team allowed him to be present today for investigation.

A day earlier, Sharif’s elder son, Hussain Nawaz, appeared before the JIT for the third time over the past five days to defend the money trail of the Sharifs’ London properties.

As he emerged from the JIT secretariat, Hussain claimed that there was not an iota of evidence of any wrongdoing or illegality committed by him, his father, brother and sister.

FOURTH TIME

Meanwhile, Hussain has been asked to appear before the JIT again on June 3 for the fourth time.

He said no evidence of any irregularity would be found against him, his father or any sibling.

Hussain said he was questioned in isolation and wasn’t allowed to be accompanied by a lawyer. “I will appear as many times as called by the JIT. I will not talk about any individual’s attitude.”

He said they were law-abiding people and would follow the law of the land. “Bogus cases were lodged against us during Pervez Musharraf’s era as well. We are giving answers and politicians will always continue to give answers.”

Appearing perturbed after another hours-long questioning by the JIT on Thursday, Hussain claimed the ongoing probe against him and his family was the latest example of a tradition of political victimization.

Hussain said the Sharif family was being meted out an unfair treatment right from the days of Hussain Suharwardy to date. He said he had provided all the documents the JIT had asked for.

The six-member JIT was constituted by the Supreme Court to examine the financial transactions of the Sharif family to purchase four apartments in London’s upscale Park Lane neighborhood.

The JIT had also summoned Qatari royal Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani. Two letters signed by the Qatari royal had been presented before the top court by representatives of the Prime Minister’s children’s during the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Panamagate case.

In his first appearance before the JIT, Hussain had refused to answer questions put forth by the investigative body, saying that the JIT’s status was “sub judice” as he had already filed a petition before the apex court regarding two of its constituents.

Subsequently, the apex court rejected Hussain’s plea, seeking exclusion of the two JIT members. After each of the next two hearings, the elder son of the Premier told reporters that he answered all of the questions put forth to him by the members of the JIT.

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