Islamabad (July 13, 2017): The Joint Investigation Team, constituted by the Supreme Court to probe Sharif’s family offshore holdings and money laundering, has suggested to reopen cases registered against Sharif family.
The JIT has recommended has recommended that at least 10 alleged corruption cases, instituted against Nawaz Sharif and his family members, some of which were thoroughly probed and decided by different courts, should be reopened, and appeals, where necessary, be filed, a reading of the findings shows.
The JIT further suggested that two cases registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Nawaz Sharif during the tenure of the Benazir Bhutto government in 1994 and decided by the courts should also be reopened.
Similarly, the forum also recommended that a case investigated and closed by the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) should be reopened. The forum recommended that the probe into the cases pending with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should be expedited.
To justify its recommendations to the effect, the JIT quoted in its report a paragraph of the April 20 verdict: . . .the JIT may also examine the evidence and material, if any, already available with the NAB” (National Accountability Bureau) “and FIA” (Federal Investigation Agency) “relating to having nexus with the possession or acquisition of the aforesaid flats or any other assets or pecuniary resources and their origin. . . .”
The JIT recommended that the NAB may be directed to review the case relating to the purchase of helicopter and file an appeal before the Supreme Court for assailing the order of the Lahore High Court (LHC) keeping in view the incriminating evidence, use of fake Qatari connection and non-availability of financial resources by the accused to purchase the copter. An accountability court set up at the Attock Fort had convicted Nawaz Sharif to 14 years imprisonment and fine. However, the conviction was set aside by the LHC in September 2010. The NAB had not filed an appeal against it.
Similarly, the JIT suggested that an appeal should be filed in the Supreme Court against the LHC judgment in which it had set aside a 2000 reference against the prime minister relating to the Hudabiya Paper Mills keeping in view the fresh, very strong and comprehensive documentary evidence, money trail and banking record (collected by this forum).
Likewise, the JIT also recommended that another 2000 reference against Nawaz Sharif and his mother for constructing palatial buildings and mansions and houses in Raiwind estate grossly misappropriate to their known sources of income, which was quashed by the LHC long time ago, may be merged with similar cases on the same issue with the NAB.
In the case of investigation against Nawaz Sharif regarding acquisition/purchase of London apartments pending since December 1999, the JIT recommended that the NAB be directed to complete the probe without any further delay. It noted that sufficient evidence and material has now come on record during the proceedings of the Supreme Court and JIT.
A similar recommendation was made about the investigation against the prime minister and others into acquisition of land through alleged coercion in/around Raiwind pending since February 2000.
The JIT further recommended that the NAB investigation against the prime minister for misusing his authority in construction of road to his Raiwind estate started in April 2000 may be completed without further delay based on its merits. It was also recommended that the NAB investigation against the premier in the matter of the Sharif Trust be completed in the shortest-possible time.
The JIT further suggested that the NAB probe against the prime minister and others regarding assets beyond sources of income (benami investments in Hudabiya Engineering Company) should be merged with the investigation related to the Hudabiya Papers Mills for filing reference.
About the NAB investigation against the premier alleging misuse of authority in illegal appointments in the FIA, the team recommended that it should be expedited. One inquiry and two investigations against Nawaz Sharif for illegal allotments of plots in the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) may be finalized by the NAB expeditiously.
The JIT made similar recommendations handled by the FIA. One, FIR No.12/1994, was against Nawaz Sharif relating to Hudabiya Engineering for allegedly obtaining wrongful gain by opening fake and fictitious accounts in different banks. It was quashed by the LHC way back in June 1997. But the JIT suggested that this case may be reopened and merged with Hudabiya Paper Mills case. During its pendency in the court of special judge, central, it was thrown away by the LHC.
The second case, FIR No.13/1994, pertained to the Hudabiya Paper Mills in which it was alleged that Nawaz Sharif obtained wrongful gain by obtaining loans for the firm. The same happened to this FIA case at the LHC. The JIT made a similar recommendation as in the Hudabiya Engineering case.
The JIT also recommended that the investigation into the allegation against the Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited (CSML) carried out and closed by the SECP in 2013 should be reopened.