Panamagate: JIT report alleges institutions of record tampering, creating hurdles | Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Panama case joint investigation team (JIT), constituted by the Supreme Court to probe businesses and financial dealings of the Sharif family, alleged some state institutions of tampering the record and creating impediments in its way, besides threatening some members.

The JIT, a couple of days ago, had submitted a report in the apex court with regard to difficulties, hurdles and pressure on it during the course of its investigations.

The team of investigators, in its report, alleged Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman and executive director of record tampering and non-cooperation. The report alleged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of non-provision of record and the Ministry of Law for delaying a letter for the sake of investigations abroad.

The JIT accused Intelligence Bureau (IB) personnel of threatening JIT member, Bilal Rasool, and trying to hack Rasool and his family’s Facebook accounts. It alleged that IB personnel were seen near the residence of Bilal Rasool on May 24, where they also threatened his servant.

“The JIT asked the SECP for record of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and all past inquiries against Sharif family. But the SECP denied any inquiries held against Sharif family in the past, while a witness told that the SECP chairman directed not to search the record of inquiries,” the report stated.

“The SECP chief also ordered tampering of record of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Executive Director Ali Azeem changed it from past dates. Azeem was also nominated by the SECP chairman for inclusion in the JIT, to sabotage investigations,” it noted.

The JIT further told the Ministry of Law and Justice caused five-day delay in responding to its letter for investigations abroad.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also accused of pressurising JIT member, Irfan Mangi. It said the NAB issued a show cause notice to Mangi on April 25, for his deputation in the anti-graft body in 2004, and asked to submit an explanation in 15 days.

When the FBR was asked for Sharif family’s record since 1985, the report stated, it only provided details from the last five years.

The investigation team also alleged the government of leaking details of JIT correspondence with concerned institutions. It further said the parties in the case have been asking witnesses to testify in their favour.

“The chairman of Ittefaq Group directed Tariq Shafi to visit PM House before his appearance before the JIT, wherein he was asked to submit a statement according to their directives,” the report read.

It said the leaking of secret correspondence to media was aimed at making investigations controversial, adding the JIT secretly issued summons to the prime minister secretly, which the information minister confirmed to media.

“Making information public this way raises concerns for witnesses’ security,” the report added.

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