SC allows NAB to record JIT members’ statements

The Supreme Court on Saturday allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to record statements of all six members of the joint investigation team (JIT) that probed the Sharif family’s business dealings in the Panamagate case

The permission was granted by the apex court following a request from NAB seeking permission to record statements of the men who had probed the business dealings of the Sharif family.

The SC addressed a letter in this regard to JIT chairman Wajid Zia, instructing that the JIT members should record their statements before NAB in order to ensure all legal requirements and formalities are fulfilled.

The letter stated that recording the statements will help avoid any possible lacuna that may damage the case.

Sources within NAB that investigators needed statements from the JIT members, as well as the evidence collected by them in order to proceed with the task of filing references against the Sharif family, as mandated by the apex court.

On Aug 17, NAB was also granted access to the secret Volume X of the report prepared by the JIT.

The ousted premier and his family have yet to appear before NAB, despite having been served three notices by the anti-corruption watchdog.

Pending references

While disqualifying Sharif under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution on July 28, a five-judge Supreme Court bench had asked NAB to file four references in a 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 bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency.

NAB has to a file reference against Sharif, his children Maryam Safdar and Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar regarding the ownership of four upscale flats in London.

A reference against Sharif and his sons regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment and another investigating 16 other companies have also been ordered. The companies include Flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint Ltd, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (the British Virgin Islands), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron Inc, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital Free Zone Establishment (Dubai).

The fourth reference has to be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds disproportionate to his known sources of income.