The Sharif family will face four cases for allegedly possessing offshore assets following the Supreme Court’s direction that corruption cases be filed against Nawaz Sharif and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, the National Accountability Bureau announced today. The Supreme Court had ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to start a corruption case against Sharif, his children — Hussain and Hassan — and his daughter Maryam.
The Supreme Court ordered that the cases against them be registered within six weeks and trial be completed within six months after the registration of the cases. The National Accountability Bureau said the cases would be filed in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi accountability courts within six weeks of the top court’s judgement, The Express Tribune reported.
The cases would be related to four flats in the Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom. Establishment of the Azizia Steel Company and the Hill Metal Company, for possessing assets beyond the known sources of income and companies mentioned in the judgement. The Supreme Court had disqualified prime minister Sharif and ordered a probe into his and his family’s offshore assets.
The unanimous court verdict said that having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation, Sharif was “not honest” under terms of the Constitution. Sharif has maintained that there has not been any wrongdoing on his part.
At a meeting of the NAB Executive Board, it was decided that the cases would be prepared on the basis of the material collected by the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family’s offshore assets in its report. The Panama Papers scandal is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in 1990s, when he twice served as prime minister, to purchase assets in London. The assets surfaced when Panama Papers leak last year revealed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif’s children.
The assets include four expensive flats in London. Some other material may also be used including that “available with the Federal Investigation Agency and NAB having nexus with the assets in the mentioned cases or which might subsequently become available including material that may become available in pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance requests sent by JIT to different jurisdictions”.
The officers concerned have been directed to efficiently and professionally handle the entire process in the laid down time limit, the NAB said in a statement.