Can't connect right now! retry

Friday May 05, 2017

Panama Papers case: Supreme Court special bench constitutes JIT

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court’s special bench on Friday constituted the Joint Investigation Team to probe funds used by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's children to buy properties in London through offshore businesses.

Wajid Zia, an Additional Director at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), will head the six-member JIT.

Other members of the investigation team include Brigadier Kamran Khurshid from the Military Intelligence (MI), Amer Aziz from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Bilal Rasool, an executive director at the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Irfan Naeem Mangi, a Director at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and Brigadier Muhammad Nauman Saeed from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).  

According to the apex court’s order, the Secretariat of the JIT would be housed in the building of the Federal Judicial Academy, Islamabad.

The SC directed the federal government to provide the JIT with the necessary funds required to carry out the investigation. The SC ordered the government to provide the JIT an initial amount of Rs20 million.

“The JIT would also be at liberty to utilise the expertise available in their departments and any other department of the Federal or Provincial Governments as and when required by it,” the order stated.

The order also mentioned that the JIT would have “the power to engage and associate local and foreign experts to facilitate the investigation and collection of evidence in line with the letter and spirit” of the SC order.

The JIT would have all the powers given by the law to carry out the investigation, including those available in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999 and the Federal Investigation Agency Act, 1975, said the order.

“All the Executive Authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the JIT,” ordered the SC special bench.

“If and when any person fails or refuses to associate with or appear before the JIT or refuses to cooperate or provide oral or documentary information required by it, the same be immediately brought to the notice of the Court for taking appropriate action,” the order stated.

The bench also ordered the JIT to submit fortnightly progress reports, stating that further proceedings would be held on May 22, 2017.

In its ruling on April 20, the Supreme Court had ordered the formation of a six-member JIT to probe corruption allegations by opposition parties against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Leaks case.

The top court had ordered the inclusion of one member each from the Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence in the six-member team.