The Prime Minister of Pakistan defended himself before the nation’s highest court today as part of an ongoing and highly politicized response to the Panama Papers in the world’s sixth most populated country.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer told the Supreme Court that Sharif does not own any shell companies or property through offshore holdings.
Sharif did not address the offshore links of his children. The Supreme Court reportedly gave Sharif’s children, some of whom appear in Panama Papers, a “last chance” to submit their own statements to the court by Monday.
The Supreme Court also appointed a one-person commission to investigate the Panama Papers case and decided to set its own terms of reference for the probe, after political wrangling stalled the process in the country’s parliament. According to news reports, the commission will be led by a sitting Supreme Court judge and will have the full powers of the court at its disposal to investigate the scandal that has dogged the Sharif family since April.
Sharif, who was reportedly “upbeat” before the hearing, told a meeting of his cabinet that he was glad the issue was now to be decided by the courts.