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JIT observes discrepancies in Sharif family assets

11 July 2017

He said that it was not first time that the prime minister and his family were being held accountable.

A three-judge bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday began examining a report submitted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which probed allegations of money laundering against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

The report said the financial structure and health of companies in Pakistan having linkage to Sharif family also do no substantiate their wealth. If the court accepts the charges it could lead to Sharif's resignation or removal from power under the constitution.

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In its 256-page report submitted to the apex court on Monday, the JIT found "significant disparity" between the known sources of income and the accumulated wealth of the Sharif family. He said Joint Investigation Team (JIT) should be asked about their findings.

Prime Minister's Special Assistant Asif Kirmani had already stressed again that the JIT report will have "no credibility" if does not include the statement of Qatari prince Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al-Thani. Panama Papers reported that these apartments were bought with the help of offshore firms Nielson and Nescol but did not come under the radar of tax department on the home soil of Sharif.

The documents showed these companies were involved in a 2007 loan of $13.8m, made using high-value Sharif-owned properties in the United Kingdom as collateral, and a separate 2007 transaction amounting to $11.2m. "We will fully fight a legal battle".

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The opposition seized on the allegations, however, with cricket legend-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan calling on Sharif to "immediately step down".

He said that the party's lawyers were analysing the report from every angle.

According to Dawn, the JIT found "glaring disparities" between the Sharif family's sources of income and its assets.

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He noted that the JIT had failed to record the statement of a key witness. The investigators did not do so. "We will unveil the contradictions of this report in front of the Supreme Court", he said. If the court deems him to have hidden assets or not satisfactorily explained the source of his funds, it could disqualify him from holding public office. They appeared once before the JIT.

JIT observes discrepancies in Sharif family assets