ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) probing allegations of money laundering against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family submitted its inquiry report on the Panamagate case to the Supreme Court on Monday.
The report consists of the statements of PM Nawaz; Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif; the PM’s children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Nawaz Sharif; son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar; PM’s cousin Tariq Shafi; friend Javed Kayani and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is the father-in-law of the PM’s younger daughter, among other evidence.
The case hinges on two parallel money trails for the Sharif family’s apartments in London’s upscale Park Lane neighbourhood: one based on the Rehman Malik investigation, and the other provided by Hussain Nawaz to the apex court.
The Rehman Malik investigation of 1998 connected the purchase of the London properties with alleged money laundering.
Malik said that he had, during his time as an FIA official, compiled a report about decades ago on alleged money laundering by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
The second money trail – a ‘forced confession’ of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case – is also being used to establish a case against the Sharif family.
Dar had claimed after his appearance at the JIT’s headquarters at the Federal Judicial Academy last month that the statement submitted before a magistrate on April 25, 2000 was not ‘written by his hand’.
The statement had alleged that Sharif brothers used the Hudaibiya Paper Mills as a cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.
This was why the JIT summoned almost all important characters named in both the Rehman Malik report and Dar’s ‘confession’.
The JIT did not record the statement of former Qatari premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, who submitted two letters to the SC during the Panamagate case, which sought to explain the Sharif family’s businesses in Qatar.
Therefore, it is being assumed that the JIT will not consider the money trail provided by Hussain Nawaz, who was summoned by the JIT six times and examined for around 30 hours in all. The leadership of the ruling PML-N is visibly unhappy with this development, and makes no secret of its disdain for the report.
Top PML-N leaders had made it clear during a press conference last week that the ruling party would not accept the findings of the JIT if the statements of the former Qatari prime minister were not made part of the report.