Thursday Jul 29, 2021
LONDON: Broadsheet LLC and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are back in the London High Court after failing to agree on the issue of interest and costs, besides the payment of a remaining US$ 1,222,037.90 (£892,521.50), owed by the Pakistani anti-graft watchdog as part of a contract signed with the British asset recovery firm.
Lawyers representing the Pakistan government at the Allen and Overy have told Broadsheet and its CEO Kaveh Moussavi that the country agrees to pay the sums of US$ 1,222,037.90 and GBP 110, but will not pay £33,646.84 in interest and costs of £35,000.
Broadsheet’s lawyers at Crowell & Moring have approached the court asking that Pakistan also pay the interest and costs when paying the $1.2 million owed.
After months of litigation and delays, the Pakistan government’s lawyers, ahead of the court hearing this week, said that they have approval from NAB to pay US$ 1,222,037.90 but discussions and approvals or otherwise on the remaining amounts might take time.
The Broadsheet lawyers, in response, said that under such circumstances, they would ask the court to issue orders for the payment of interest and costs.
NAB’s lawyers, according to a letter seen by Geo News, have said that they are instructed only to pay the sums frozen by United Bank Limited in London, as per the court's order, while there is no approval for the payment of interest and costs from the sum held by the bank.
Broadsheet LLC was hired by Pakistan more than two decades ago to trace assets belonging to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, as well as several other politicians and businessmen, including Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto.
Pakistan broke the contract off early, in violation of the agreement it had signed, and the case has so far cost Pakistan close to $65 million in legal fees and awards after Kaveh Moussavi, who beneficially owns Broadsheet, brought the case before sole arbitrator Sir Anthony Evans QC under the rules of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The arbitration judge found that Pakistan had "conspired to criminally defraud" Broadsheet Isle of Man. Broadsheet's lawyers convinced London High Court to seize Pakistan’s assets at the United Bank Limited (UBL) in December 2020. Since then, Broadsheet has made further claims over the remaining payment owed, by way of interest and costs.
The Broadsheet controversy raged for several months after Pakistan lost the case and several stories involving Kaveh Moussavi, Germany-based Anjum Dar, Pakistani PM Imran Khan's aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar, Daily Mail reporter David Rose, Dr Pucks and Zafar Ali QC made rounds.
The case is set for a hearing before the Master.