NAB Has No Jurisdiction Over Calibri Indenture, IHC Owns – Journal

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday observed that the issue related to the allegedly forged trust deed of Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz is beyond the jurisdiction of the Bureau National Accountability (NAB).

A divisional bench, consisting of Judge Aamer Farooq and Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, resumed hearing into appeals filed by Ms Nawaz and her wife, retired captain Mohammad Safdar, against their conviction in the Avenfield dismissal Apartments.

Defense barrister Amjad Pervaiz told the court that NAB initially described Ms Nawaz as a beneficial owner of the Avenfield Apartments.

However, in the additional reference, the office claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the real owner of the property.

According to him, NAB had reached the conclusion that Ms Nawaz was the beneficial owner of the property which the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said was purchased around 1993-1996 due to the trust deed signed in February 2006.

In response to Judge Kayani’s query regarding the preparation of the Trust Deed, Attorney Pervaiz explained that the deed was executed since Hussain Nawaz had two wives and being the eldest sister Mrs. Nawaz would take care of of the property in case of contingency.

The lawyer said NAB accused Ms Nawaz of falsifying a trust deed to mislead the investigation.

He argued, however, that the NAB failed to probe key witnesses Jeremy Freeman of Freeman Box, an attorney who signed the trust deed, and Waqar Ahmed, who was also a signatory to the document.

Attorney Pervaiz said JIT chief Wajid Zia hired a company from his cousin – M/s Quest – to collect evidence and record testimony from overseas witnesses.

The company recorded the statement of a so-called expert, Robert Radely, to prove the document was fake, but did not contact Freeman who had confirmed the authenticity of the trust deed.

He argued that Mr Radely recorded a statement in the Court of Auditors while reading the notes provided to him by the prosecution.

According to the lawyer, during cross-examination, Mr Radely had confirmed that he was not a computer geek and also admitted that the Calibri police existed long before the preparation of the trust deed.

It may be mentioned that the JIT had declared the deed of trust false since forensic expert Radely in his report pointed out that the Calibri policy in which the deed of trust was prepared was not commercially available in February 2006.

The defense lawyer while quoting Mr Radely’s statement argued that the expert had admitted that the police were available in early 2005.

The bench questioned why the JIT hired the UK-based expert since such experts were available in Pakistan.

The lawyer replied that JIT feared that the local prosecutor would be prosecuted if the report was found to be false.

Attorney Pervaiz said the tort court dropped the charge of presenting a false trust deed against Ms Nawaz and stayed the case pending a decision on her appeal.

Judge Kayani observed that “this matter therefore cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the NAB”.

Lawyer Pervaiz claimed that the liability court made confusing charges against Ms Nawaz and that resulted in the judgment.

Judge Farooq asked the lawyer “how did Maryam Nawaz mislead the investigation?”

The lawyer replied that when the prosecution, in a further dismissal, accused Nawaz Sharif of being the true owner, she could not be convicted of being the beneficial owner.

Judge Kayani noted that in such a scenario “prima facie, she is not the accused”.

The new hearing was adjourned to June 23.

The media discourse of Maryam Nawaz

After the court proceedings, Ms. Nawaz, while speaking to the media, blamed Imran Khan for soaring inflation and subsequent increases in the prices of petroleum products.

She said the massive rise in oil prices was the result of the deal between the International Monitoring Fund (IMF) and the former PTI regime.

She said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was bound to abide by the deal that caused the inflation storm.

The PML-N leader claimed that the PTI government had agreed with the global lender to remove subsidies on petroleum products and impose a sales tax and an oil development tax.

She said that due to the landmines laid by the PTI government, fuel prices in Pakistan are expected to be around Rs 300 per litre, adding that the incumbent government must honor the pact with the global lender otherwise the country would be lacking.

She said Imran Khan subsidized petrol and diesel when he realized he was about to lose his seat.

She also defended the statement of the general manager of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on the so-called American conspiracy and said that the relevant point should not be whether it was a conspiracy or an interference, but of the denial of the head of the ISPR.

Responding to Imran Khan’s statement that DG ISPR does not need to talk about political issues, the PML-N leader said it was Imran Khan who took the matter to the National Security Council (NSC), adding that the military could not lie to “please”. Imran Khan.

She also defended a tweet by Nawaz Sharif regarding the return of former military leader Pervez Musharraf and said Mr Sharif did so for humanitarian reasons.

Posted in Dawn, June 17, 2022

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