Following Pakistan’s Panama Papers Inquiry, Judges Order Probe

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faces potential disqualification following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding alleged corruption charges exposed within Panama Papers produced by the ICJ.  Two of the five judges on the bench ruled for an immediate disqualification of PM Sharif – the other three reserving their ruling pending a report by the Joint Investigation Team – a six member team appointed by the three abstaining judges.  Sharif is expected to appear before the JIT to answer questions posed by the bench.

The Supreme Court after questioning chairmen from the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) and FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) have found both to have failed to perform their duties, necessitating the formulation of the JIT.

UPDATE 05.05.17 – Committee members include the following:

  • Wajid Zia – Federal Investigation Agency (Director) – named head of Joint Investigation Team
  • Amer Aziz – State Bank of Pakistan
  • Bilal Rasool – Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Director)
  • Irfan Naeem Mangi – National Accountability Bureau (Director)
  • Brigadier Muhammad Nauman Saeed – Inter-Services Intelligence
  • Brigadier Kamran Khurshid – Military Intelligence

The order also supplies the JIT with necessary funding for necessities related to the inquiry, including lodging, transportation, secretarial staff (security of both staff and JIT), as well as local and foreign subject matter experts.  The Supreme Court has afforded the team broad powers to include those available in Code of Criminal Procedure (1898), Federal Investigation Agency Act (1975) and the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (1999).

“As the JIT, in essence and substance, is acting on the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, all the Executive Authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the JIT.”

The committee is also ordered to bring to the attention of the Court, people or associates that refuse to cooperate or provide oral or documentary information required to conduct the investigation thoroughly.   These broad investigative powers will ensure the JIT have the resources an investigation of this magnitude deserves.  The JIT has been ordered to report to the Court every 2 weeks to inform the Justice’s on progress during the ongoing investigation.  The probe is expected to complete in 60 days unless additional time is required.

Click here to download the ruling in PDF format or view the complete ruling it it’s entirety below:

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