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NAB announces filing of four criminal corruption cases against Sharif, children and son-in-law

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A file photo.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s top anti-corruption body, on Monday announced the filing of four criminal corruption cases against deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children — Hussain, Hassan and daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Captain Safdar. Separate cases will also be filed against Captain Safdar and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

As per NAB law, Mr. Sharif and his children can be arrested any time on the orders of NAB chairman. Conviction means at least seven years in prison.

A meeting of the Executive Board of the NAB decided to finalise the corruption references.

“The meeting was held in compliance of Honorable Supreme Court Judgment dated 28 July 2017 regarding the PANAMA Case. It was decided to file four references in the Accountability Courts of Islamabad/Rawalpndi in the stipulated time period of 06 weeks from the date of judgment. The references will be prepared on the basis of the material collected and referred by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its report and some other material as may be available with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB having nexus with the assets in the below mentioned cases or which might subsequently become available including material that may become available in pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance requests sent by JIT to different jurisdictions,” the NAB press release said.

The criminal cases are to be filed in the light of the Supreme Court's 5-0 judgment last Friday, disqualifying Mr. Sharif from Parliament and barring him from holding public office for life. It ordered the NAB to file cases and the supervision of the investigation by a judge of the apex court. It also directed the NAB to file the cases in six weeks’ time and complete the investigations in six months.

The charges include ownership of four London flats that resurfaced in Panama Papers last year. Mr. Nawaz Sharif denied the ownership of the flats but said they were owned by his son Hussain Nawaz in 2006. However, the Sharif family admitted that they were residing in the flats since 1993. In a statement before the court it was submitted that the flats were owned by a Qatari consortium, which later transferred the ownership to the Sharif family in 2006.

The cases to be filed against the Sharif family include Avenfield Properties (Flat No.16 and 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London). Other cases relating to the establishment of Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Company and possessing assets beyond his known sources of income were also finalised.

The Sharifs have denied any corruption and wrongdoing. Counsel for the Sharif family said that the Sharifs would prove that they are not guilty.

Abbasi files nomination

Meanwhile, Interim Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has filed his nomination papers for the election of the premiership on Tuesday. The Opposition has fielded several candidates after failing to agree on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) nominee Sheikh Rashid. The Pakistan People's Party is filing the nomination of Khurshid Shah, who is the leader of the Opposition in the lower house of parliament.

Mr. Nawaz Sharif has nominated his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif for the post of Prime Minister. He will be taking over from the interim prime minister in six weeks time. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is currently the Chief Minister Punjab. He will have to contest on a National Assembly seat vacated by the ouster of Mr. Nawaz Sharif. Mr. Shahbaz Nawaz’s son Hamza Shahbaz is tipped to take over the chief minister’s post.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 6:05:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nab-files-four-criminal-corruption-cases-against-sharif-children/article19396719.ece

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