ISLAMABAD: The Sharif family has been called in to record their statements at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) tomorrow (Friday) in references filed against them by the country’s top graft buster on the instructions of the Supreme Court.
On July 28, a five-judge bench of the apex court unanimously disqualified Nawaz Sharif, then prime minister, from holding any public office and directed NAB to file references against him, his three children, son-in-law and Ishaq Dar in the Panamagate case.
The anti-graft body on Thursday issued summonses to Sharif and his sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz to record their statements in relation to inquiries ordered by the Supreme Court.
According to sources, NAB officials will be recordings the statements of the Sharifs in connection with the Al Azazia Mills case before formally filing a number of references in the light of the top court orders.
The Supreme Court bench, in its July 28 verdict, had given NAB 60 days to file references against Sharif, his sons, his son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar, and Dar in light of the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report into the murky business dealings of the ruling family after they were investigated on the basis of their offshore accounts, which were listed in the Panama Papers.
Express News reported that the Sharifs’ statements will be recorded in Lahore.
The Supreme Court has already nominated one of its judges to supervise NAB’s progress in this regard.
On August 10, the SC registrar office declined a NAB request for Volume 10 of the JIT report. Sources told The Express Tribune that the bureau had made a requisition in the registrar’s office seeking certified copies of all volumes for filing references against Sharif and others.
The SC office, however, only provided certified copies of the first nine volumes of the JIT report to NAB while refusing to give Volume 10, which is currently classified because it contains mutual legal assistance (MLA) records.
Legal authorities in six countries were approached through MLAs including the British Virgin Islands’ attorney general, the UK Home Office, Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry, UAE’s justice ministry, Switzerland’s Central Authority, and Luxemburg’s prosecutor general.
Volume one of the report said two of these countries had provided ample evidence that became vital sources of information submitted before the Supreme Court, while responses from four countries were still awaited. Details of all these communications have been mentioned in Volume 10 of the report.
Legal experts believe the information contained in the classified volume could be even more damaging to the Sharifs.
On Wednesday, Sharif filed review petitions against the SC’s July 28 verdict in which, among other things, he has requested that the court do away with the role of the SC judge appointed to oversee progress on the NAB references. Sharif has posited that the involvement of the judge would amount to judicial overreach.