ISLAMABAD - Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday demanded making public the names of 40 “investigators” who “assisted” the Joint Investigation Team during the Panama Papers probe against the Sharif family.

“The Panama case is a fraud against me and my family, as new secrets are being revealed with each passing day,” he said while referring to the anonymity of the staff that assisted the JIT during the investigation.

The reaction of Nawaz came after JIT head Wajid Zia, during his cross-examination by Maryam Nawaz’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz, refused to disclose the identities of the team assistants.

Talking to the media outside the accountability court, he said that Zia’s refusal to reveal the identity of 40 “supporting experts” of the JIT has thrown the entire probe into doubt.

He said that every day JIT head was making new disclosures during the cross-questioning, and the nation can now see more clearly that injustice was being done to him.

The former prime minister expressed the hope that the trial court will do justice to him as nothing was left in the case after the “falsehood” of the investigators has been exposed.

Criticising Zia, he asked, “Who they [supporting staff] actually were and which departments they belonged to? Why such a responsibility was assigned to them if [keeping] their identity [secret] is so dear to them?”

“All these supporting individuals crated this case privately,” he alleged. “All this should come to the notice of the people of Pakistan that who is deciding the fate of the country. It is very unfortunate and all this mess is needs to be cleared,” Nawaz Sharif said.

The ex-PM said that Zia was head of the JIT and not of the entire nation.

Court proceedings

During cross-questioning by the counsel of Maryam Nawaz, Zia informed the court that Maryam provided trust deeds about Nelson, Nescol and Comber to the JIT on July 5, 2017 saying that theses trust deeds were original. But in fact those trust deeds were notarised copies and not the original documents, he held.

Maryam Nawaz had claimed that all the provided trust deeds were original and therefore when she appeared before the JIT, no confrontation was made on this issue as she had asserted that the provided documents were original.

The JIT head also informed the court that Cap (r) Safdar in his statement before JIT stated that the trust-deed was prepared in 2006, however, he failed to provide the exact date. Safdar had also claimed the trust-deed copy to be an original. Zia said that [it transpired later that] Safdar was unaware about the actuality of the trust-deed containing property details.

He informed the court that the JIT received the first report from Robert Redlay on July 5, 2017 and Maryam Nawaz was not confronted on the Redlay report during her appearance before the JIT the same day.

Quist solicitor was provided with explicit Cam-scam copies of the trust deeds, said the officer, adding that the Quist solicitor forwarded trust deeds to Redlay for forensic analysis. He stated that he could not comment now on the Redlay report. However, he said it was not correct to say that Redlay was not a font-identification expert. “The JIT ahead of hiring services of Redlay had checked his CV,” Zia said.

“On appearing before JIT, Maryam handed over copies to me and later interview was started. A special courier was employed to dispatch trust deeds and for this purpose, services of Brig Nauman were hired,” he said. However, he said he would keep confidential the identity of the person who took the parcel of trust deeds to London as the JIT did not record the statement of that individual.

“There is nothing in the record of the JIT to prove that documents of Maryam Nawaz were confronted,” said Zia, adding that the witnesses who appeared before JIT did not endorse that the trust deeds provided by Maryam were fictitious.

Wajid Zia also pointed out that the trust deeds and other documents were sent to Quist solicitor and not to Robert Redlay, and it was the Quist solicitor who forwarded these documents for forensic analysis to Redlay.

“Robert Redlay report was based on photocopies of the trust deeds. The JIT relied on the report of Redlay, which was based on the photocopies of trust deeds,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the CV of Redlay, defence counsel Amjad Pervaiz pointed out that there is no mention on his resume that he was a font expert. On which, Zia said that this assertion was wrong.

 

 

Nawaz for revealing 40 Panama ‘investigators’