Panama leaks: PM not disqualified, SC orders JIT to probe money trail

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ISLAMABAD: Announcing its eagerly-anticipated verdict in the Panama leaks case, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered an investigation into how money was transferred to Qatar, a year after a Panama Papers revelations linked the prime minister’s family to offshore businesses.

The apex court has ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation team (JIT) to carry out the investigation, which should present its report every two weeks before the five-judge bench.

The Supreme Court also ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and his sons Hasan and Hussein to appear before the JIT.

The detailed decision by the apex court comprised a total of 540 pages, with the verdict split 3-2 between the five-member apex court bench.

Announcing the detailed verdict, the chief justice said that the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had failed to carry out his duties.

The committee comprising of one senior official each from the FIA, NAB, SECP, SBP, ISI, and MI, will be tasked to probe the assets, announced the chief justice.

The five-member bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had reserved its verdict in the case on February 23.

The decision comes as security and the economy improve in the country ahead of general elections scheduled to be held next year.

The controversy erupted with the publication of the so-called Panama Papers last year, 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca which documented the offshore dealings of many of the world’s rich and powerful.

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