Trouble for Pakistan PM Sharif, probe team recommends new anti-graft case

Pakistan       by Muhammad Irfan | Published

Pakistan by Muhammad Irfan | Published

Citing "sources close to the JIT", The News reported on Monday that the panel had not held the prime minister responsible for any wrongdoing, though it linked Sharif's sons to questionable financial transactions.

With the Supreme Court now taking up the case once more, Sharif's political career hangs in the balance.

The JIT had reservations regarding the significant gap and disparity among the known and declared the source of income and the wealth accumulated have been observed, said the JIT document.

The bench also ordered a contempt of court notice to be issued to the Jang Group, a leading media house, for a story published in The News daily that speculated on the findings of the JIT.

Emphasizing that his family has nothing to fear?as our hands are clean?, Sharif said he was hopeful that his family and he would come out of all this unscathed. A team submitted its report in the Supreme Court after 60 days of investigation.

The probe being conducted by JIT is in connection with the alleged offshore assets of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family, as was revealed in the Panama Papers leak.

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There were reports of many motorbikes at police stations after they were confiscated to prevent people from moving around. Last summer's street protests left 100 people dead, majority civilians, as locals regularly clashed with security forces.

It also highlighted "irregular movement" of huge sums of money in the form "loans and gifts" between Sharif and his youngest son from various companies set up in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the UAE.

He claimed that JIT members were biased, which was against the principles of justice.

The six-member JIT was set up in May by the Supreme Court with the mandate to probe the Sharif family for allegedly failing to provide the trail of money used to buy properties in London in 1990s.

Sharif himself appeared before the inquiry on June 15, while his sons Hassan and Hussain were questioned multiple times during the course of proceedings.

On Saturday, Sharif appeared to take a defensive stance prior to the inquiry report's submission, with leaders from his PML-N party vowing to reject the report as it did not include testimony from former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. Other Sharif family members who testified before the JIT included Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, premier's daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.