Pakistan

Court extends physical remand of Zafar Hijazi in record tempering case

SECP Chairman

ISLAMABAD: The Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) former chairman Zafar Hijazi was handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for three more days for questioning with regard to his suspected involvement in altering the record of the Sharif family’s companies, ARY News reported.

FIA officials produced Hijazi before the court after expiry of his four-day physical remand and requested the judge to extend his remand as his custody was required for further investigation into the matter.

Granting the request, the judge extended the physical remand of the suspect, directing the officials to produce him in the court on July 29.

Hijazi was arrested on July 21 after Special Judge Central Tahir Mehmood declined his plea for bail extension. The special judge had approved interim bail for Hijazi against two surety bonds of Rs250,000.

Hijazi has been booked in a case following the Supreme Court’s order in the Panama Papers implementation case for allegedly tampering with financial records of the Sharif’s companies.

A four-member FIA team, constituted by the apex court to look into the JIT’s allegations, had proved the record tampering claims.

It found chairman SECP Hijazi guilty of record tampering and recommended criminal proceedings against him and two of his subordinates – Ali Azeem and Maheen Fatima – under Section  466, 472, PPC read with 5(2) Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) 1947.

SECP Director Maheen Fatima had accused the SECP chairman of exerting intense pressure on her to blame the Panamagate JIT of misbehaving with her during an interrogation session.

In her statement to the probing team, she asserted that the money laundering investigation against Chaudhry Sugar Mills was closed on the chairman’s directives.

The director has further accused the chairman of threatening her with dire consequences including transfer to Gilgit-Baltistan on defiance of his orders.

The Panamagate JIT had previously complained to the top court that SECP had allegedly tampered with the record, apparently to favour the Sharif family who owns Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

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