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Hudaibiya Paper Mills case not to be reopen decides NAB

Hudaibiya Paper Mills case not to be reopen decides NAB

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau has decided not to reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against disqualified premier Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, official sources confirmed to The Nation yesterday.

NAB Additional Prosecutor General Akbar Tarar had informed the Supreme Court on July 21 that the bureau had decided to file an appeal in the apex court to open the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

Sources said the NAB executive board had met on Tuesday last with Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in the chair and discussed its future strategy on Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

According to documents, the NAB decided in a meeting on July 20 to file a civil petition for leave to appeal in the court to seek reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case on the return of the NAB prosecutor general of accountability from the United Kingdom, who reached back on July 23.

NAB Director-General (Operations) Syed Zahir Shah informed Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry during the meeting that the bureau had collected more evidences in the case from the JIT in the Panama Papers case.

According to the documents, Mian Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz and Ishaq Dar had been accused of receiving ill-gotten money in the case.

It is worth mentioning here that the Lahore High Court had quashed the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference against the Sharifs in 2014 and the NAB had not challenged the decision in the apex court.

The NAB chairman had denied filing an appeal in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case during hearing of the Panama Papers case.

The Nation tried to contact the bureau’s spokesperson through telephone calls and text messages for getting official version of the NAB, but he did not respond.

Earlier, the JIT had strongly recommended the reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, observing that substantial evidence had strengthened the FIA and the NAB probes and established linkage between the investigations of the two departments.

The JIT had also summoned a former and current NAB chairman and Ishaq Dar to record their statements in this case.

The JIT had also asked the NAB chairman to provide the attested copies of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case record.

Ishaq Dar had submitted a confessional statement regarding money laundering before a magistrate on April 25, 2000, during the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference.

However, Dar and his lawyers frequently disowned the confessional statements during the Panama case hearing.

The SC had told Dar’s lawyer that if the confessional statement in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case was considered withdrawn, his status as co-accused in the case would be restored.