ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif didn’t mention Qatari investment as a funding source for London flats in his speech but Hussain Nawaz had said that the flats were purchased from that investment.

Hearing the Panamagate case, the court observed it was possible that London flats which are at the centre of the case were purchased by Qatari family using Sharif money in 1993.

“Questions would be automatically raised as the arguments showed that PM’s family was living in the flats for past 13 years but the property [according to defendant’s claim] was purchased in 2006,” the bench added.

Hussain Nawaz’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja told the court that flats were purchased by Al-Thani family through offshore companies in 1993-1996.

Justice Gulzar asked that when PM’s children shifted to the flats. Raja said that Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz resided in the flats in 1993 due to good terms with Al-Thani family.

"How were the 12 million dirhams acquired," Justice Gulzar asked. Salman Akram replied that the court should summon Tariq Shafi and ask him about the money.

When did Sharif family settle in London flats, Justice Gulzar asked. The counsel claimed that the Sharif family did not purchase London flats during 1993 to 1996 adding that Sharif family was not the owner of offshore firms for the said period as well. The family purchased London flats in 2006, the counsel said.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked that the core question was the source of money for London flats as Hussain Nawaz claimed that he owned London flats due to Qatari investment.

Prime Minister’s statement and Tariq Shafi’s affidavit had no information regarding Qatari investment, remarked Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan.

The counsel claimed that the reply submitted on November 7 enclosed information regarding 12 million Dirham investments of Dubai factory adding that Qatari royal family was involved in the matter.

Justice Ijaz Afzal asked whether 12 million Dirhams were received in form of cash or through any bank, adding that every deal inked by Sharif family was through banks but the 12 million Dirhams were received in form of cash.

To this, Salman Akram said that receiving money in form of cash was not surprising. Justice Ijaz Afzal remarked that the available documents fail to support it. The payment was made in six successive instalments for investment, said Salman Raja.

Salman Akram Raja in his arguments said that the record of the sale proves that the Gulf factory was sold in 12 million Dirhams. “Who paid the bank arrears,” Justice Ijaz Afzal asked. The counsel said that the arrears might be paid with the profit of the factory.

In his arguments the counsel said that Mian Sharif had control over the family business.

He said that Tariq Shafi did not manage the daily affairs of the Gulf factory as he was just a witness to payment of 12 million Dirhams to Al-Thani family for investment.

Justice Asif Khosa observed that the premier mentioned about setting up six new factories during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s tenure.

Justice Gulzar remarked that when those six factories were established in Pakistan and what was the need of Gulf factory. He also said that that the premier did not mention about Qatari investment in his speech.

Also yesterday, the prosecutor of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted the minutes of the meeting that decided not to file an appeal against the court decision on Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference.

Justice Gulzar asked about the number of cases in which the NAB did not file an appeal against the decision. The prosecutor said there are large number of cases in which appeals were not filed. He said that the appeal was not filed due to the unanimous decision of the judges.

Justice Ijaz Afzal observed that the NAB filed appeals in many cases which were also decided by the judges unanimously.

The bench adjourned the hearing of the case until Wednesday (today).