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Volume-X of JIT report sent to NAB

18 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday provided the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) four certified copies of the otherwise confidential Volume-X of the joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Panama Papers case.

The Volume-X of the JIT report consists of 415 pages. Earlier, the Supreme Court had thrice turned down NAB's request to provide it with Volume-X of the report for further investigations into the case.

As a whole, the Supreme Court has already provided four certified copies of first nine volumes of the JIT report to NAB on its request. Whereas, now four certified copies of the Volume-X have also been provided to the NAB.

"Please furnish complete set of JIT report along with annexure for filing of the references before the accountability court," applications submitted to the court by the NAB read.

Now, NAB has got the required copies of all the volumes of the report to finalise references against the ousted prime minister, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in accordance with the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict.

The Volume-X of the JIT report, which contains details of mutual legal assistance (MLA) with various countries, had not been made public by the Supreme Court on the request of the six-member JIT's chairman Wajid Zia.

A three-member JIT implementation bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, had allowed senior advocate Khawaja Haris Ahmad, who represented Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers case, to go through two pages of Volume-X.

According to the summary of the report, the volume consists of MLA requests initiated by the JIT chairman under Section 21 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

The MLA requests were made to the attorney general of the British Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom Central Authority, Interior Ministry of Saudi Arabia, Justice Ministry of the United Arab Emirates, Central Authority of Switzerland and Prosecutor General of Luxembourg.

Disqualifying Nawaz Sharif under Article 62(1)( f) of the constitution, a five-member Supreme Court bench in its July 28 verdict had asked NAB to file four references before the Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the JIT as well as that already available with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB.

According to the court order, NAB has to file a reference against Nawaz Sharif; his children Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz; and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar relating to four upscale Avenfield flats in London. Another reference against Nawaz Sharif and his sons about Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment and one regarding 16 other companies was ordered.

The companies are Flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE (Dubai).

The fourth reference has to be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income. To monitor and supervise the work of NAB as well as to oversee the proceedings of the accountability court, the Supreme Court has nominated one of its judges, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, whose nomination has been challenged by the ousted premier in his review petition against the Panama Papers case verdict.

According to the NAB spokesman, Volume-X of JIT report has enough and concrete evidence and proofs to file references against Nawaz Sharif and his family. According to NAB sources, the bureau has written a letter to the Saudi Arabia's government requesting it to provide details of Sharif family's assets there. The NAB has also sought details of payments made by Nawaz Sharif to purchase a mill there. It has requested the Saudi government to provide all details till August 30, 2017.

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