Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders JIT to present its final report on July 10

Pakistan’s top court has ordered the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to present its final report on probe against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members on July 10.

A high-profile investigation team is probing the Panama papers case, in which prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons are accused of corruption.

On Thursday, the JIT submitted its third and the second last periodic report before the three-member special implementation bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the bench, expressed anger on being told once again that various departments of the government are continuing to refuse cooperation with the JIT.

The bench reiterated its earlier direction to the JIT to complete its probe within the given timeframe of sixty days.

After perusing the latest report, Justice Ahsan asked JIT’s head Wajid Zia, if government departments are cooperating with the team. Zia replied that the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) provided the investigators with the relevant record whereas the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) did not.

Justice Khan inquired from the attorney general about the delay in providing the relevant record to the JIT.

Justice Sheikh remarked that the court has ordered all government departments to cooperate with the JIT in its probe. The JIT had submitted its midterm report on June 7.

Wajid Zia said the JIT had written three letters to the FBR, asking whether the record was not submitted by the Sharifs or if it was stolen from the FBR office, but no reply was received.

Expressing serious concern and indignation, the bench observed that it was a clear case of defiance shown by the institution. “Does this mean the record has been stolen?” asked Justice Ahsan, observing that the court may summon FBR head if record was not provided.

Justice Sheikh observed that the ‘foot-dragging’ would not go in favor of the ruling family. “No foot dragging. We are at the last scratch of the investigation. Our patience is running out,” he told the attorney general.

The bench asked the JIT head to submit a complete list of documents which are not being provided by the FBR. However, the attorney general assured the bench that the available record would soon be provided to the JIT.

Meanwhile, in response to an inquiry made by the bench, Zia said the investigative body did not reveal the name of the person who leaked Hussain Nawaz’s picture during interrogation for security reasons.

The JIT was set up early last month to carry out investigations within 60 days about the alleged money laundering by Sharif family to purchase properties in London.

The issue of properties surfaced when Panama leaks showed that Sharif’s children were managing these properties through offshore companies.

Sharif narrowly survived in three-two judgement in his favour in allegations of corruption in the Panama Papers case.

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