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PM Counsel Terms JIT Report ‘Misleading’, ‘Unreliable’

Islamabad (July 18, 2017): Prime Minister counsel Khuwaja Harris while advancing arguments before the three-member special bench said that the JIT report was unreliable and misleading.

On Tuesday, the full bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan resumed hearing of the case.

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Prime Minister’s counsel Khuwaja Harris submitted that the SC had ordered the JIT to get answers of the 13 questions, framed by the bench.

He argued that the JIT overstepped its mandate.  Harris said that the apex court had not given instruction for reopening of any case against Sharif family.

During the course the hearing, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that it would be up to the trail court whether to fully or partially accept the findings of the JIT.

During the lawyer’s arguments, Justice Ejazul Ahsan remarked that the PM, despite being given the opportunity, did not gave anything.

The judge remarked that the JIT asked about his speech, but he did not answer.  When he was asked about the London flats, he said that he did not know, the judge added

At the outset of the hearing, Harris read out the original 13 questions posed by the Supreme Court to the JIT.

He said the court, in its April 20 judgment, had not ordered for reopening of any case against Nawaz Sharif.

Harris asserted the JIT also included probe of ‘assets beyond means’ in its investigation and went on to answer 15 questions instead of the original 13.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that a number of issues were related to the court’s 13 questions. The justice remarked that the money trail of the London properties was a complicated saga.

The court will decide if the JIT’s recommendations have to be implemented, he remarked.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said the JIT just gave its recommendations whereas any order on the issue will be passed by the court.

He said the trial court will decide if including the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case in the JIT report was right or wrong.

Justice Ijaz observed that you could have said anything in your defence but you did not. “Facts were hidden and answers not provided to the JIT,” he remarked.

The prime minister and everyone else was given a chance to defend themselves, it is wrong to say otherwise, he remarked further.

Harris said it was not the JIT’s mandate to give a verdict. Justice Azmat replied that if the JIT made recommendations after its investigation then what was so wrong with it. “The order of the court will be more important than the JIT’s recommendations,” he observed.

Addressing Harris, Justice Azmat observed that the respondent has not disputed any document presented in the JIT report.

The premier’s counsel stated in court that the prime minister does not own any offshore company nor received a salary from any such company.

Are you saying this charge is false, asked Justice Azmat. Harris responded in the affirmative. “FZE Capital is owned by Hasan Nawaz,” Harris added.

The bench inquired if the prime minister is not Hasan’s father and chairman of FZE Capital.

Did he not get an aqama? Justice Ijaz further.

Harris claimed the JIT probe was not transparent. The prime minister was not asked to verify the documents and thus the court cannot issue an order based on the JIT report, he argued.

Harris claimed several questions not posed to the prime minister were included in JIT report. “It should be probed why I wasn’t given chance to confront documents against the prime minister,” he said.

Justice Azmat replied that he may submit a separate application to the Supreme Court in this regard.

With regards to volume 10 of the JIT report, which was kept confidential at the request of the JIT, Justice Azmat remarked that the court can make the volume public if the counsel requests it.

Before the start of the hearing, lawyer Salman Akram Raja, representing Nawaz Sharif’s children, said he will present his arguments in court tomorrow.

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