Panama JIT approached forensic expert Radley with ill-intent, says Maryam

  • She questioned the credibility of Panamagate JIT members at the last hearing

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Friday resumed hearing of a corruption case against members of Sharif family while Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif recorded her statement.

The court is hearing Avenfiled references, one of three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagagte verdict that led to the disqualification of the former premier.

Questioning the credibility of the forensic report prepared by Robert Radley, Maryam said that the report carried contradiction in the facts; therefore, it cannot be trusted.

She added that the Supreme Court did not ask any question about the trust deeds regarding Nielsen and Nescoll when it was submitted during the Panama Papers case hearing.

Maryam said that the JIT initiated probe regarding the trust deed on its own and sought help from a so-called forensic expert with bad intentions. She also termed the process of hiring the expert and sending him documents suspicious. The report was prepared on the basis of a scanned copy which is unacceptable.

“Robert Radley was hired through Wajid Zia’s cousin. We were never informed why the services of Radley not taken through the foreign office,” PML-N leader said.

She claimed that Radley’s services were hired to make a fake report. The report was prepared to include her and her husband’s name in the case.

She also confirmed the statements her brother Hassan had made in interviews given to some media outlets, and said that he was the real beneficial owner of the offshore companies, which held the Avenfield apartments.

It is pertinent to note that Robert W Radley of Radley Forensic Document Laboratory was hired by the JIT for examination of the documents submitted by the Sharif family regarding Avenfiled apartments.

Radley had identified that the type of font used in the trust deed declarations was ‘Calibri,’ which was not commercially available before Jan 31, 2007.

The anti-graft watchdog has made Nawaz, his children – Maryam, Hassan and Hussain – and son-in-law Captain (retd) accused in the reference. However, Hassan and Hussain have been declared absconder for no-show in the case.

Maryam started his testimony on Thursday when she raised the concerns highlighted by his father during his three-day long testimony. Maryam questioned the credibility of members of the joint investigation team, set up by the Supreme Court to probe assets of the Sharif family.

Panamagate JIT probe swayed by civil-military tension, says Maryam in Avenfield’s testimony

She said that appointment of Irfan Mangi as director general of NAB was still pending with the court and he was engaged for the probe without ignoring it.

She went on to say that Amir Aziz from State Bank of Pakistan was a close aide of the former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

Maryam also said officials of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence should not have been made part of the investigation team. Aziz was sent on deputation in NAB during Musharraf’s era.

She said that Nauman Saeed was not part of the ISI when he was included in the JIT, adding that he was outsourced.

The former first daughter added that 70-year-long civil-military tussle also influenced the JIT, investigation into the business dealings of the Sharif family.

She highlighted that report prepared by the JIT could not be presented as an evidence in the references. She further said that the Supreme Court had ordered to file cases in the light of the evidence collected by the JIT, but did not ask the JIT report to be made part of any reference as an evidence.

Besides Avenfield reference, other two references filed by the accountability watchdog pertain to Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Al Azizia steel mills.