Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nawaz Sharif offered bribe to stop investigation of his offshore assets, reveals Kaveh Moussavi

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In the latest development, it has been revealed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered a bribe to Broadsheet for abandoning probe against his foreign assets, Broadsheet Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kaveh Moussavi said.

In an interview to a web TV, he said the Broadsheet had flatly refused the deal offered by a person claiming himself as the nephew of Sharif in the year 2012, retorting that the Broadsheet did not negotiate with crooks.

The Sharif family has assets not only in the United Kingdom (UK) but across the globe, he said, adding that the Sharif family required plenty of explanation about their resources of amassing these assets.

He said the process of accountability was continuing but after President Pervez Musharraf left office, his successors started hampering the process by not giving access to information and termination of Broadsheet’s contract.

To a question, he severely criticized Sharif for claiming that Broadsheet had exonerated the Sharifs. “Indeed, Broadsheet did exactly the opposite,” he said, adding that it was a complete lie that Broadsheet exonerated the Sharif family.

Broadsheet did not pursue Avenfield apartments source of buying as a Pakistani accountability court had already contended that the apartments were bought by the Sharifs from stolen money.

However, the Broadsheet was ready to investigate money sources of the Avenfield apartments, “if asked by the government of Pakistan”, he said.

Sharif was behind the termination of the contract with Broadsheet, which was investigating how hundreds of millions of dollars had been stolen from Pakistan and stashed abroad, Moussavi said.

Read More: Does the government really want to bring Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan?

He said Gen Musharraf tasked Broadsheet with detecting the assets of 200 people. But, after his tenure, the National Accountability Bureau started asking to remove names of certain people from the list that was refused. This was the hypocrisy of the then-government of Pakistan, he said. 

Cases against Nawaz Sharif

It is important to mention here that on April 20, 2017 the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued orders in Panamagate case and directed the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Sharif family’s financial affairs.

FIA’s Additional Director General Wajid Zia, a grade 21 officer, was appointed as head of the probe team. The JIT consisted of Amer Aziz of the State Bank of Pakistan, Executive Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Bilal Rasool, National Accountability Bureau Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, Brig Muha­mmad Nauman Saeed of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Brig Kamran Khurshid of the Military Intelligence.

On the basis of the JIT report, SC on July 28, 2017, disqualified Nawaz Sharif for not being honest and truthful.  The court stated that “it is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables, constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)”.

The bench further said that on the basis of this information, collected by the JIT, cases should be opened against then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar; then MNA Captain Muhammad Safdar; Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, and the ousted premier, Nawaz Sharif.

References against Nawaz

The Avenfield reference was filed by the NAB in an accountability court against Nawaz Sharif.  Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court announced the decision. Nawaz Sharif was handed over 19 years imprisonment for owning assets beyond known income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB. His daughter Maryam was given 7 years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and 1 year for non-cooperation with the bureau.  Nawaz’s son-in-law retired Captain Safdar was also given 1 year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Nawaz and Maryam.

On July 10, 2018 Judge Bashir was due to resume hearing in the Al-Azizia reference but Nawaz’s counsel urged him to recuse himself from the trial proceedings in the Al-Azizia and Flagship references pending before the same judge. The case was then sent to late Judge Arshad Malik, only other judge available to hear the case. But Judge Arshad was transferred literally in those days from Rawalpindi. He was serving as “Sessions Judge” in Punjab and was transferred by the federal ministry of law to serve as Accountability Judge. Many political analysts find the sequence of events very strange.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif should not go outside, suggest doctors

Nawaz was handed 7 years in jail in Al-Azizia reference by Judge Arshad Malik. Nawaz was also fined Rs1.5 billion, US $25 million. The judge, Arshad Malik, however, maintained that there was no case against Nawaz in Flagship reference. Nawaz later obtained bail from Islamabad High Court in Avon-field case where he was convicted by Judge Mohammad Bashir.

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