Won’t be able to complete probe in time due to hurdles, JIT informs Supreme Court | Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it will be unable to complete its probe in the given 60-day time period due to ‘difficulties’ created by some state institutions.

The JIT submitted its report to the special implementation bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justices Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Ijazul Ahsan.

The bench observed that if hurdles are created in the work of the JIT, they will not be able to complete their probe in time.

Justice Ahsan remarked that some departments have been accused of changing records after the JIT informed the bench that some institutions are delaying providing relevant records.

The bench sought a reply from the Attorney General’s Office over the JIT’s objections.

Leaked interrogation picture

Earlier, while hearing the petition submitted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz over his leaked picture and recording of the JIT’s proceedings, the bench perused the reply of the JIT on the petition.

Justice Ejaz stated that the JIT has rejected most of the accusations levelled by the petitioner, adding that ‘who leaked the picture and what action was taken against those responsible’ is all in the report.

When the petitioner’s counsel objected to the recording of JIT proceedings, the bench observed that there is no bar on recording proceedings, adding that video recording is also carried out to produce accurate transcripts.

Justice Ejaz observed that Khwaja Harris, Hussain’s counsel, should look at the JIT’s response if the Attorney General (AG) Office has no objections.

To this, the additional attorney general replied that the JIT has no issues if the report is shared with the petitioner’s counsel.

The bench then directed Harris to peruse the report and submit his response on Wednesday. The bench also hinted during the hearing that it may release the report publicly. 

The prime minister’s elder son recently petitioned the Supreme Court against the JIT after a picture of him during the interrogation was leaked in the media. He has also pleaded the court to bar the JIT from recording its proceedings.

Earlier, sources had said the JIT had completed its probe into the leaking of Hussain’s picture by conducting inquiries against personnel responsible for the JIT secretariat’s security as well as CCTV recording.

Moreover, at an earlier hearing, the bench had directed the head of the JIT, Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, to submit in writing the hurdles being faced by them on Monday.

Several officials and members of the Sharif family, including National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmad and the premier’s relative Tariq Shafi, have accused the JIT of maltreatment.

The JIT — formed on May 6 in light of the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment in the Panama case — has 60 days to complete its investigation into the prime minister’s family’s financial dealings abroad.

PM summoned on June 15

The PM House, in a statement issued to the media on Sunday night, confirmed having received summons from the JIT and said the prime minister would appear before it on June 15.

The JIT has already questioned the premier’s elder son five times and his younger son, Hassan Nawaz, twice. 

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