ISLAMABAD: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), constituted by the Supreme Court, submitted its report recommending that a reference be filed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family after disparities were found between their known source of income and the family’s actual wealth.
The JIT recommends filing of the reference under Section 9 of NAB Ordinance 1999 against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz and sons Hasan and Hussain Nawaz.
“Significant gap/disparity among the known and declared sources of income and the wealth accumulated by the Respondent No. 1, 6, 7 and 8 have been observed,” said the investigation team in its closing remarks.
In the report, Respondent 1 refers to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Respondent 6 refers to Maryam Nawaz, Respondent 7 refers to Hussain Nawaz and Respondent 8 to Hasan Nawaz.
“The financial structure and health of the companies in Pakistan having linkages to the Respondents also do not substantiate the wealth of Respondents,” added the document.
“Moreover, irregular movement of huge amounts in shape of loans and gifts from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-based company (Hill Metals Establishment), United Kingdom based companies (Flagship Investments Limited and others) and United Arab Emirates based Company (Capital FZE) to Respondent No. 1, Respondent No. 7 and Pakistan based companies of Respondent No. 1 and family have been highlighted.”
“The role of off-shore companies is critically important as several offshore companies [companies mentioned by name] have been identified to be linked with their businesses in UK while conducting this investigation. These companies were mainly used for inflow of funds into UK based companies; which not only acquired expensive properties in UK from such funds but also revolve these funds amongst their companies of UK, KSA, UAE and Pakistan.”
“In addition to the companies, Respondent No. 1 and 7 have been found to be recipients of these funds movement into Pakistan as gifts/loans whose purpose/reason have not justified by them before the JIT. Needless to say, these UK companies were loss-making entities with heavily engaged in revolving of funds vis-a-vis creating a smoke screen that the expensive properties of UK were due to the business operations of these UK companies,” added the closing remarks.
The investigative team refers to Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 in its report, which states – “A holder of public office, or any other person, is said to commit or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices [….] if he or any of his dependents or benamidars owns and possesses or has acquired right or title to any assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of any assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably account for or maintains a standard of assets beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income….”
“In any trial of an offence punishable under clause (v) of sub-section (a) of Section 9 of this Ordinance, the fact that the accused person on his behalf, is in possession for which the accused person cannot satisfactorily account, of assets and pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, or that such person has, at or about the time of the commission of the offence with which he is charged, obtained an accretion to his pecuniary resources or property for which he cannot satisfactorily account, the Court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the accused person is guilty of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices and his conviction therefore shall not be invalid by reason only that it is based solely on such presumption,” states Section 14(c) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, which was also brought forth by the report.
After the report’s submission, the bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and including Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, ordered the registration of FIR against Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had informed the court over the weekend that its inquiry had found Hijazi guilty of tampering records of SECP’s probe into the Chaudhry Sugar Mills, owned by the Sharif family.
The JIT, formed on May 5 in light of the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment, was tasked to ascertain the money trail of the Sharif family-owned properties in Park Lane, London.
The JIT included State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz, Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Bilal Rasool, Military Intelligence’s Brig Kamran Khursheed, Inter Services Intelligence’s Brig (retd) Nauman Saeed and National Accountability Bureau’s Irfan Mangi.
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