ISLAMABAD Serious accusations have been hurled at senior lawyers on Monday in the report regarding Bank of Punjab (BoP) fraud case presented by the NAB before the Supreme Court. Sheikh Afzal, main accused of the Rs 9 billion scam, alleged in the report that he paid millions of rupees in the form of bribes to many senior lawyers including Dr Babar Awan, Malik Qayyum and Sharifuddin Pirzada to get a favourable verdict. Babar Awan assured me that apart from his legal fee, Rs 50 million, he would charge Rs 35 million till September 2008, Afzal alleged in the 37-page NAB report. In his statement to a NAB court, Sheikh Afzal alleged that the PPP leader (Babar) assured him that he had settled all the matters with superior courts judges and the case would be quashed within 15 days. Similarly he alleged that former attorney general Malik Qayyum took a bribe of $ 200,000 to get a favourable verdict from the court. Qayyum also gave Rs 1.5 million and Rs 1 million bribe to the then AG Latif Khosa and Ibrahim Satti, a private counsel, respectively representing the NAB in apex court accordingly. An amount of Rs 10 million was paid to Sharifuddin Pirzada for the same purpose, he alleged. However, the NAB report stated that senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan only received his legal fees for contesting the case. The names of the judges also have been removed from the NAB report. During the course of proceedings, a three-judge bench of the SC, headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the NAB to precede against Seth Nisar, the elder brother of Sheikh Afzal, in the Harris steel mill case. Khawaja Haris, counsel for BoP, informed the court that some Rs 7.5 billions property of accused have been handed over to the applicants. Wasim Sajjad, counsel for Seth Nisar, informed the court that his client did not inform him about his availability in the court. Thus the court has also withdrawn the protection enjoyed by Seth Nisar against arrest. NAB investigation officer Aftab Ahmed informed the court that the investigations went on regarding the role of ex-chief commissioner Islamabad Fazeel Asghar in helping Sheikh Afzal flee the country despite his name on the Exit Control List. He informed that Fazeel Asghar has backed out from his earlier statement while further investigation from him is being made. A questionnaire has been handed over to him and would be submitting his reply within a week to the NAB, he added. FIA Legal Director Azam Khan informed the court that Gohar Sarfaraz, Assistant Director Airport Security Force, had facilitated Sheikh Afzal in fleeing the country. Immigration officer, Hafiz Tariq, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the entire episode and investigations are underway, he explained. With the help US officials, we are contesting the bail application of Hamesh Khan in the US, he added. Furthermore, a court of Virginia has rejected the bail petition of Hamesh while the court hearing in Pakistan in connection with his repatriation will be held on February, Khan told TheNation outside the premises of the court. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has directed NAB to focus on the procurement of money from Sheikh Yaqoob, another co-accused in the case. A K Dogar, counsel for Sheikh Yaqoob, informed the court that his client has offered to pay back Rs 1.2 billion. The Chief Justice also directed BoP lawyer Khawaja Haris to negotiate the matter with Sheikh Yaqoob as he was willing to pay the money outstanding against him. Meanwhile, Malik Qayyum, Babar Awan, Mujeeb Pirzada, Wasim Sajjad and his son Ali Wasim in his written reply to the NAB denied the allegation being levelled against them. They termed it a conspiracy to defame the senior lawyers as well as to the superior judiciary. The case has been adjourned until January 11, 2010 while the NAB has also been asked to submit a report till that date.