LAHORE -  The Qatari ambassador’s assertion that his government has nothing to do with the country’s former prime minister’s letters in Panama case will not, positively or negatively, affect any party in the case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, say legal experts.

They say it is up to the Supreme Court whether it relies on the letters or not; and if it relies on the letters then it can ask the parties for their authenticity which is only possible with the approval or rejection of Qatari prince.

The ambassador’s denial will also have no impact over the proceedings of Panama papers case or any party in the case, say the lawyers.

On Saturday, Qatar’s ambassador to Pakistan Saqr bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri told a private television channel in an interview that his government had nothing to do with the letters of a Qatari prince to the Supreme Court hearing the Panama Papers case.

Sharif family’ lawyers had submitted to a five-judge larger bench of the court two letters of Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, a former prime minister of Qatar - first on Nov 15, 2016 and the second on Jan 26.

He stated in the letters that late Mian Sharif had invested 12 million dirham (cash) in the Al-Thani family’s business in the 1980s, which eventually led his grandson Hussain Nawaz to acquire the four posh flats in Mayfair, London.

PTI chairman Imran Khan and other opposition parties had also challenged the authenticity of the letters saying that these letters could not establish the money trail and had been false which were issued to rescue the prime minister in the Panamagate case.

These letters, experts say, were written and issued in private capacity, which are not sufficient to proof the money trail.

A lawyer, however, says that denial of Qatar ambassador has questioned the authenticity of the letters regarding property of the Sharif family.

Talking to The Nation, Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Watan party said the Qatari envoy’s statement that his government did not issue these letters would not affect any party to the case. He said these letters were issued in private capacity which was already known.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Fazl-i-Haq Abbassi stated simple denial of the Qatari ambassador would not have any impact on the case or the parties in the case.

 He said the significance of the letters would only be considered when the court would rely on them for decision. “The letters will not be so important if the court does not consider them or relies on them to give decision,” Abbasi added. “The letters would matter when court asked the party for verification of these,” he further said. Salman Akram Raja, the counsel of Hussain Nawaz in Panamagate case, is of the view it was already known to everyone that these letters were written and issued in private capacity and these would not have any impact over the case or parties in the case.

According to senior lawyer SM Zafar, the statement proved that the business deal was private but the letters’ authenticity would be questionable only if the Qatari prince himself denied them in or outside the court.

Azhar Siddique advocate says the denial of Qatar’s ambassador weakened the authenticity of the letters and would also affect the prime minister.

The first letter of the Qatari prince stated that Hamad’s father - Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani - had “longstanding business relations with Mian Mohammad Sharif” - father of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - “which were coordinated through my eldest brother”.

In the year 1980, “Mian Sharif expressed his desire to invest a certain amount of money in real estate business of Al Thani family in Qatar,” the document said.

“I understood at that time, that an aggregate sum of around Dirhams 12 million was contributed by Mian Sharif, originating from the sale of business in Dubai,” the document said, adding that four flats: 16, 16A, 17 and 17A Aven field House, Park Lane, London, were registered under the ownership of two offshore companies, while their bearer share certificates were kept in Qatar.

The documents further claimed that these flats were purchased from the real estate business. “These flats were purchased from the proceeds of the real estate business and that on account of the relationship between the families, Mian Sharif and his family used the properties whilst bearing all expenses relating to the properties, including the ground rent and service charges. “I can recall that during his life time, Mian Sharif wished that the beneficiary of his investment and returns in the real estate business should be his grandson Hussain Nawaz Sharif,” the Qatari prince claimed in the letter, explaining that in the year 2006, the accounts in relation to this investment were settled between Hussain and the Al Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies to his representative.

The second letter, which was submitted before the apex court, reaffirmed the family’s earlier stance about business and flats in London. It also claimed that transactions between Mian Sharif and Al-Thani family were in cash.