Pakistan

Sharif family in tight spot as SC takes up Hudaibya case tomorrow

panama papers

ISLAMABAD: With the members of the Sharif family facing a number of corruption charges stemming from the Panama Papers, the Supreme Court is all set to hear tomorrow an appeal seeking reopening of one more graft case against them.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan will hear the appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking re-investigation of the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills case.

The Sharif family seemed to be unhappy with the NAB’s move seeking reopening of the case which was put to rest in compliance with a court order.

The discontentment is manifested in the recent statements by the Sharifs’ close aides. Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique earlier this week termed the opening of the case as an unjustified move, saying the case was closed as a result of a court order, thus reopening of the case was injustice.

The NAB through its Prosecutor General Waqas Qadeer Dar had filed the appeal, pleading the top court to grant leave to appeal to examine the legality, propriety and vires of the 2014 LHC verdict quashing the Hudaibya Paper Mills case and set aside the impugned judgement.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Shamim Akhtar, mother of Nawaz, Shahbaz and the late Abbas Sharif, Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Hudaibya Paper Mills Ltd, the federal government and others have been named as respondents in the appeal.

According to the Hudaibya reference, the Sharif family had been accused of setting up Hudaibya Paper Mills Ltd to launder money.

A joint investigation team set up to investigate the Sharif family’s offshore properties had recommended in its report that the Hudaibya Paper Mills should be investigated afresh.

Subsequently, a Supreme Court bench hearing the Panama Papers case had asked the bureau to reopen the case.

The Musharraf government had launched an investigation against the Sharif family members 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 Hudaibya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

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

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