Pakistan

NAB to file appeal in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case within week: SC told

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the Supreme Court on Friday that it will file an appeal for reopening of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and others within a week.

The national anti-graft watchdog’s prosecutor general assured a five-member bench of the apex court that he had received a draft of the appeal and will file soon in the court.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Awami Muslim League (AML) Chairman Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed against the NAB for failing to file an appeal for re-opening of the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case

Earlier on Thursday, a NAB spokesperson had said the Bureau will approach the apex court challenging the Lahore High Court’s verdict that had closed down the case back in 2004.

In 2014, the LHC had quashed the case against Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar and other members of the Sharif family.

Rasheed submitted in the petition that the NAB chairman had assured the top court on July 21 to file the appeal within a week, and it made his statement part of its order, but he has failed to do so in defiance of his assurance.

Of late, he said, he sent a notice to the chairman to comply with court order in this regard, but he failed to respond.

Rasheed said a joint investigation team constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate the Sharif family’s offshore properties held that Hudaibiya Papers Mills case warranted further investigation and accused ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of whitening the money and taking it out of the country.

Rasheed said the JIT produced corroborative evidences against Sharif family with regard to money laundering, which they did not deny. Nevertheless, the NAB was dragging its feet to seek court’s permission to reopen the case, he added.

He claimed that the NAB chairman and its prosecutor general were under influence of powerful political elites, and requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against them for disobeying the court order.

The Musharaf government had launched an investigation against PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif back in 2000 for their alleged involvement in money-laundering. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is a close aide and relative of the Sharifs, had given a confessional statement before a magistrate, alleging that Sharif brothers used the Hudaibiya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

Dar later retracted his statement and claimed the statement was obtained under duress.

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