Dar corruption reference: NAB requests original Panama JIT record from SC

JIT head Wajid Zia expected to appear before accountability court on February 8


Rizwan Shehzad February 01, 2018
JIT Head Wajid Zia. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requested on Wednesday the accountability court to requisition the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s report along with the record from Supreme Court as the head of JIT, Wajid Zia, is expected to appear before the court on February 8.

NAB Prosecutor Imran Shafique informed Judge Muhammad Bashir that 26 out of the total 30 witnesses have already recorded their statements in the NAB reference against former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the JIT head would be the next to record his statement.

When the prosecutor requested the court to issue a summons for Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director General Wajid Zia, Judge Bashir said Zia is a prosecution witness and NAB should produce him before the court for recording his testimony in the case.

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The judge said the court would only issue a summons if Zia fails to appear. In the application requesting requisition of the JIT report submitted in the SC by Zia, along with the entire set of volumes, Shafique said that SC constituted JIT to investigate the Panama leaks on April 20, 2017.

He added that JIT collected voluminous material, recorded numerous statements, prepared its exhaustive report and submitted it to the SC.

In addition, Shafique said that the JIT report is part of the reference against Dar as the top court had directed to prepare and file reference(s) on the basis of evidence collected by JIT.

In the plea, Shafique said Zia is a witness in the reference but the evidence and the original report of JIT along with the entire set of volumes are lying with SC. He added that “JIT report has to be tendered in evidence of prosecution witness Wajid Zia, being a mandatory requirement of law.”

“Therefore, he said, it is in the interest of justice that the original JIT report may please be requisitioned from the Registrar office” of the Supreme Court.

He added that the JIT report is the most important and essential document prepared and signed by Zia and bringing it on record would promote ends of justice for determination of the reference. He has prayed the court that the application is accepted.

Verbally, Judge Bashir remarked he would decide the application after the witness appears before the court.

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Meanwhile, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Additional Joint Registrar Salman Saeed recorded his statement and produced certified copies of the records of six companies – Spencer Pharma, Spencer Distribution, Hajveri Holdings, Haveri Mudarba Management, Core Chemical, and Hudaibiya Engineering.

As he was recording statement, an earthquake shook the building and everyone came out of the courtroom. After a little while, the court resumed hearing. “Saving life is obligatory. Staying put in here is tantamount to suicide,” Judge Bashir remarked.

“It was only a few seconds long but we definitely felt the building shake,” Shafique said later.

In his statement, Saeed revealed that Spencer Pharma was initially registered as CE Fulford Pakistan in 1954 under the companies’ act of 1913. Later, it changed its name to FISONS Pakistan and then became Spencer Pharma before merging into Spencer & Company.

Following the hearing, the court adjourned the case till February 8.

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