Islamabad (September 15, 2017): The National Accountability Bureau has said that it would file appeal against the Lahore High Court’s decision to scrap Hudaibia Paper Mills case against Sharif family in the Supreme Court within a week.
National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor general appeared before the larger bench of the Supreme Court hearing review petition of Sharif family on an application of Sheikh Rashid seeking reopening of Hudaibia case.
The prosecutor general assured that the Bureau will file appeal against the decision within a week.The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had submitted the entire record of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama case.
Earlier, the Awami Muslim League chief, one of the three petitioners in the Panama Papers case, had submitted a petition in the apex court against NAB’s failure to reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.The petition stated that on July 21, during the hearing of the Panama Papers case, NAB had informed the apex court it would reply in seven days regarding the reopening of the Hudaibia case.
However, the bureau failed to reply within the stated time period and NAB chairman was even sent a notice in this regard but that too has yet to be replied to, the petitioner claimed.Moreover, it was stated in the petition that the apex court had also directed for probing the Hudaibiya case in its July 28 judgment.
NAB had decided to not reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against the Sharif family.The decision was taken by NAB authorities on the grounds that earlier in October 2011, a Rawalpindi division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) restrained the accountability court from proceeding in the matter after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family challenged the revival of the references and requested the court to quash the cases.NAB authorities also stated that the Supreme Court had not clearly directed to reopen the Hudaibiya case in its July 28 judgment.
The anti-graft watchdog’s prosecution branch had also given its advice on the case.The Hudaibiya Paper Mills were allegedly used as a cover by the Sharif family to launder money outside the country in the 1990s.
It was in relation to this case that the Sharif family’s trusted aide, Ishaq Dar, recorded a confessional statement on April 25, 2000 in front of a magistrate in Lahore.
On the basis of that confession, a reference was filed by the NAB before an accountability court against the Hudabia Paper Mills, three Sharif brothers, Dar and others.
That reference was struck down by the Lahore High Court on March 11, 2014 in response to a writ petition filed in 2011.
Dar had claimed that he had made the ‘confession’ in duress and disowned the statement.