ISLAMABAD - Marred by controversies and torrents of allegations, the episode of JIT investigation against the Sharif family is expected to end today as it presents its final report before the special bench of the Supreme Court.

The joint investigation team (JIT), constituted on May 5 in the light of the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment in Panama Papers case, was tasked to ascertain the money trail of the ruling family-owned properties in Park Lane, London and other business dealings abroad.

The apex court had set 60-day deadline for the investigation and repeatedly made it clear in its hearings that the JIT would not be given even a single extra day, yet PM Sharif’s spokesperson Musaddiq Malik in his recent press conference expressed apprehensions that the team could seek an extension.

The team, empowered to summon anyone to investigate money-laundering allegations against Sharif family, will submit its final report before a three-member special implementation bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

Over the given 60 days, the investigators headed by FIA Additional DG Wajid Zia, collected evidence and documents related to the business dealings of the family, and recorded the statements of witnesses –seven of them being members of Sharif family.

Even Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was summoned to record his statement, and he became the first serving Chief Executive of the country who appeared before any investigation body.

The other six members of Sharif family who appeared before the JIT included PM’s brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, their cousin Tariq Shafi, Nawaz’ children Hussain Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz, and Maryam’s husband Captain (r) Safdar.

Hussain Nawaz appeared six times, Hasan thrice and Tariq Shafi twice before the investigators to answer questions regarding the corruption and money laundering charges against the Sharif family.

Another important appearance was that of Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who was summoned especially to record his statement regarding Hudaibiya Papers Mills reference.

This reference was based on the April 25, 2000 confession of Dar, wherein he had admitted to his role in alleged money laundering on behalf of the Sharif family through fictitious accounts. However, he later retracted the statement claiming it was given under duress.

The investigators also recorded the statement of Lt-Gen (r) Amjad - the first chairman of the National Accountability Bureau - regarding the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. He told the investigators about the whole process of Dar’s turning approver in the case and how his statement was recorded in the presence of a magistrate.

Besides recording of statements, the JIT has also succeeded in collecting important record. The team has gathered evidences related to Gulf Steel Mills, Chaudhary Sugar Mills and reference against Sharifs in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case to trace the business dealings of Sharif family abroad.

Some media report said that the JIT had also collected considerable pieces of evidence from their visits to Dubai, London and Qatar, which sheds light on the money trail – that from where the money flew into Sharif family’s accounts and then was invested in properties. The evidence, it has been claimed, would render useless the Qatari prince’s letters, the mainstay of Sharif’s defence.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which distributed sweets on the formation of the JIT, kept accusing the probe team of foul play and tarnishing its image throughout the proceedings.

The series of allegations had started with the maiden appearance of Tariq Shafi at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA), where the JIT has its secretariat. Shafi alleged the JIT members of “misbehaving” with him and exerting “pressure” on him for securing a statement of their choice.

During the proceedings, a major controversy emerged when picture of the prime minister’s elder son Hussain Nawaz appearing before the JIT, was leaked to social media. The ruling party raised a much hue and cry over the issue and accused the team for deliberately leaking the picture.

Hussain moved the Supreme Court and requesting it to constitute a judicial commission to investigate the photo leak.

The JIT explained to the bench that immediately after becoming aware of the picture leak on June 5, the team initiated an inquiry, identified the culprit within 24 hours and sent that individual back to his parent department.

It told the court that the department concerned had also confirmed that a departmental inquiry had been completed and appropriate disciplinary action taken.

Another controversy made the headlines when the JIT alleged Intelligence Bureau (IB) of hacking the Facebook account of its member Bilal Rasul — which was also used by his wife — to retrieve the contents attached by Hussain Nawaz in his photo-leak complaint to the apex court.

The JIT alleged that the private social media pages of the Facebook account were accessed by Hussain Nawaz ostensibly through the facilitation of the IB, which was an infringement of privacy and blatant misuse of the government machinery to support the Sharif family.

The hullabaloo by the PML-N leaders, one the other hand, continued and reached its culmination when four federal ministers - Khawaja Asif, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ahsan Iqbal and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi - in a joint presser, a couple of days before the conclusion of investigation process, refused to accept the JIT report without testimony of Qatari royal Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani.