The Joint Investigation Team tasked by the Supreme Court with probing the offshore financial assets of the Sharif family decided on Monday to hire the services of a UK-based firm for forensic audits to validate the information the ruling family would submit about its London properties.
Bilal Rasool – who represents the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in the six-member JIT – has been assigned to look for a suitable firm for the purpose, according to media reports.
The JIT held its seventh meeting at its secretariat in the Federal Judicial Academy. During the meeting it was decided that the JIT would only treat authenticated and certified copies of relevant record as ‘admissible evidence’.
The decision came after JIT members scrutinised the 17-year-old Hudabiya Paper Mills and other related records submitted by the National Accountability Bureau. The record was non-certified.
The JIT sent a letter to the FBR on Friday seeking detailed and certified tax returns of the prime minister. The JIT continued deliberations on a proposed questionnaire, which would be sent to individuals named in the case, including the Qatari prince and PM’s cousin Tariq Shafi.
The team would probably finalise the questionnaire before May 22 and get it endorsed by the top court’s three-judge special bench for the implementation of the Panamagate verdict. The special bench will hold its hearing on May 22 where the JIT would inform it about the progress in the ongoing investigation.
Once approved, the questionnaire would be dispatched through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistani missions abroad to the persons concerned.
The JIT members also examined asset statements filed by the prime minister and his son-in-law for the period between 2013 and 2016 by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
It was also decided that within this week, the JIT would write to the Foreign Office to contact foreign countries to obtain certified record of the Sharif family’s properties and offshore companies.
Credit: Express Tribune