SC forms JIT to probe Sharif family’s offshore wealth
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday constituted a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe money trail and offshore properties of the prime minister and his family, ARY News reported.
The JIT will be headed by a director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia, while the other members of the JIT include State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)’s Amir Aziz, National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s Irfan Naeem Mangi, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)’s Bilal Rasool, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)’s Brigadier Muhammed Noman Saeed and Military Intelligence (MI)’s Brigadier Kamran Khursheed.
The top court on Tuesday formed a three-member special bench to ensure implementation of apex court’s verdict on Panamagate scandal and monitor the JIT operations.
Three persons were nominated by each of the above mentioned institutions. Out of them the SC bench had to select one to represent each institute. All of the JIT members are of 18-grade or above officers.
The JIT team will submit its final report within next 60 days. The investigating team is also directed to submit fortnightly progress reports. The next hearing of the special bench will be held on 22nd of this month.
The federal government has been directed to provide them necessary funds with an initial amount of Rs20 million. The funds shall be placed at the disposal of the head of the JIT.
The JIT shall have the power to engage and associate local and foreign experts to facilitate the investigation and collection of evidence.
As the JIT, in essence and substance, is acting on the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, all the executive authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the team.
The JIT has been directed to commence and complete the investigation and submit its final report in stipulated time period.
It should be recalled here that a bench of the apex court in its judgment, announced on April 20, ordered formation of a JIT under the court’s supervision to investigate the money trail of offshore properties and other unanswered questions of the case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz.
Family of the PM was named in the Panama Papers, which revealed secret offshore holdings of powerful people in the world.
Earlier, the apex court had rejected the nominees of SBP and SECP for the JIT. The apex court then ruled that no head of state institution can appoint any nominee for the proposed JIT.
SECP and SBP had failed to keep secrecy of the names. The bench, headed by Justice Afzal Khan, expressed resentment on leaking of the names before the court proceeding.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said it has been pointed out that the names were leaked to media outlets before submission to the apex court.
“This became the prime factor to discard the names suggested by two state institutions”, Justice Ahsan added.