Pakistan

Panamagate case: FIA ordered to probe JIT’s accusation of record tempering

ISLAMABAD: Resuming the hearing on Hussain Nawaz’s petition with regard to his photo leak and subsequent Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s allegations, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan on Monday asserted that the special bench would not act like a spectator after noting that the JIT’s accusation were of serious level, ARY News reported.

The three-member special bench – headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan – directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General to investigate the JIT’s allegation of tempering the records related to the Sharif family’s money trail by the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

During the court proceedings, the special bench overseeing the implementation of Panamagate verdict also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to suspend its show-cause notice to Irfan Mangi, the NAB official who is among the six other members of JIT that probing money trail and foreign properties of the Sharif family.

Moreover, the bench also ordered Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali to suggest what course of action should be taken against the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on accusation of threatening the JIT members and pressuring the witnesses.

The bench asked the government to stop harassing the JIT members otherwise a strict order could be passed on the matter.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the top court observed that it has become a routine practice by the government officials to bash out the probing team and the top court during talk shows and media confrontation.

Furthermore, the bench directed the JIT to work in line with Panamagate verdict and complete the probe within the prescribed time frame of 60 days.

On Thursday, the proceedings could not be held as the Panamagate JIT members could not show up in the top court as the probing team had summoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for interrogation on the same day. The case was then adjourned till Monday (today).

JIT’s Allegations 

Last week, in hearing of the petition filed by the premier’s son, the Panamagate JIT had rejected the allegations levelled against the probing team in connection with the leaking of Hussain Nawaz’s photo before a questioning session. However, it assured that punitive action would be taken against any individual suspected of involvement in the incident.

It also apprised the bench that the Prime Minister House and government machinery were being used to influence the witnesses, creating hurdles in the probe by withholding the important record with regard to the money trail of the Sharif family’s foreign properties.

ALSO READ: Govt institutions, PM house refute JIT allegations of delaying Panamagate probe

The court had then reserved its decision on Hussain Nawaz’s petition challenging the video recording of the JIT interrogation sessions. The bench had also directed the attorney general (AG) to submit a reply to the JIT’s report on ‘impediments’ faced by it.

On Friday, Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali submitted the para-wise replies of all concerned state institutions and ministries in the top court, rejecting allegations levelled by the Panamagate JIT of impeding its probe against money trail and offshore properties of Sharif family.

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