SGS, Cotecna references: Ex-NAB official counters defence claims

Says original case record available with Lahore High Court

Our Correspondent September 09, 2015
Former president Asif Ali Zardai. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The ex-deputy chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Hassan Waseem Afzal on Wednesday recorded his statement at an accountability court in two corruption cases against former president Asif Ali Zardai.

In his statement before Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir, the former NAB official said that he had personally gone to Switzerland to collect the original records of the SGS reference and had later handed over the documents to the Lahore High Court. Afzal said that the original documents relating to agreements with offshore companies and Swiss bank accounts were submitted in the court and the record should be available with the court or NAB.

Following the hearing, the court adjourned the case till September 22.

SGS is a Swiss inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The corruption case is in continuance of a reference filed in 1997 which accused the late Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Zardari, of receiving kickbacks as part of a deal between SGS and the government while Bhutto was prime minister.

The Cotecna case relates to the award of a contract to the Swiss company after the power couple allegedly received per cent of revenue as a pay off.

In the previous hearing, the counsel for the former president, Farooq H Naek, said that the real records of both references was not present and only photocopies had been produced before the court.

To this, the judge had said that the record indeed consisted only of attested copies and asked if NAB possessed or could obtain the original documents.

Naek maintained whoever certified the record should come before the court and testify, adding NAB has already said that the original record of the references were not available. Naek added that even the investigation officer has not seen the original record.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2015.


ishrat salim | 6 years ago | Reply It was during the hearing of Swiss case, GEO TV had shown a car was unloading crates & bundles of documents & being received by UK ambassador Mr Wajih in London, where are those documents ?
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