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NAB chairman orders reopening of cases against Sharif brothers
Posted By shafeeq On July 14, 2012 @ 9:55 am In Corruption Scandals | No Comments
ISLAMABAD: Nationality Accountability Bureau Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari has ordered the reopening of three references against Nawaz Sharif’s family.Officials told The Express Tribune on Friday that Bokhari – on the recommendations of a special committee – has decided to reopen cases against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief’s family, involving an alleged case of money laundering worth more than $32 million.The special committee headed by NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha has recommended the reopening of cases against politicians after the committee decided to scrutinise cases against all politicians, particularly against the Sharif brothers.
“NAB’s chairman has signed an application requesting the accountability court to reopen three references against the Sharif brothers to contest a petition which was filed by the Sharif brothers in [the] Lahore High Court in October 2011,” said an official statement. “These cases include Hudaibia Paper Mills, assets beyond known sources of income and Ittefaq foundry (wilful loan default).”
On May 17, the bureau had formally announced that the decision to initiate inquiries against Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif came after President Asif Ali Zardari’s order to scrutinise all politicians.
“The president directed NAB’s chairman to make sure that there should be no political victimisation in such cases,” said a top official.
The special committee will revisit all the cases pending against politicians, the official revealed while adding that “we are in the process of scrutinising the remaining cases relating to politicians and the findings/recommendations would be shared with the media accordingly”.
Sharif brothers on February 15, 1995 provided a guarantee to pay on demand the Leasing Company any such due against the Hudabiya Paper Mills up to a maximum of $12.046 million together with all profits and charges, stated the reference as quoted by investigators. However, the paper mill failed to make the payment on the first due date or any date thereafter.
Then interior minister Rehman Malik had claimed on April 28, 2012 that he had documented evidence of corruption against the PML-N leadership and would file a reference against them to NAB. The federal government is the complainant in this reference, which also includes cases related to defaulting on loans worth Rs4.9 billion taken from nine different banks in the early 90s.
The official statement further stated that the proceedings on cases against the Sharif brothers were adjourned sine-die (without assigning a day for a further hearing) by the accountability court in 2001 when they were in exile.
After their return, NAB filed an application for the reopening of these cases in 2007 which was granted. But later on, these cases were adjourned sine-die in 2010 by the accountability court with the direction that the trial could be commenced if an application signed by the bureau’s chairman is submitted before the court.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan rejected the allegations saying: “We are ready to face inquiries… These are totally politically motivated inquiries.
“The bureau should become a mouthpiece of the Supreme Court rather than the president,” he told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune , July 14th, 2012.
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