Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog plans to file four corruption cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, according to officials. The Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case would be implemented in letter and spirit, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said on Monday. The apex court on July 28 disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.
NAB had decided to file four corruption references against Sharif, his children and Dar soon after Eid-ul-Azha (September 2) as the Supreme Court’s six-week deadline would end soon, a senior NAB official was quoted as saying by Dawn.
The official said that the apex court had set the NAB a deadline for September 11 and the Bureau was expected to file the references in an accountability court in Islamabad in the second week of September.
He said NAB would file references on the basis of statements of Sharif, his sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Dar, recorded by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
They would also consider the JIT’s report (especially volume-10) and the material received from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The official said NAB had served three notices on the members of the Sharif family but they had refused to appear before NAB investigators till the apex court announced a decision on their review appeals against its verdict.
He said that members of the JIT, who had prepared the report on directives of the Supreme Court, would also be summoned to record their statements before NAB’s combined investigation team.
The official said that the NAB headquarters had been provided a copy of Volume-10 of the JIT report to prepare references in the light of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) with different countries and their replies.
According to the MLA with British authorities, it has been proved that Maryam was an owner of the Avenfield properties.
Similarly, the United Arab Emirates government had sent a letter that rejected the Sharifs’ stance on the Gulf Steel Mills and thus nullified the letter from former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, which had been presented to explain the money trail of their off-shore assets, he said.