|Recycling cases?: References against Sharifs already pending in courts|
25 May 2012
Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s move against the eponymous chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and his family, for involvement in $32 million worth of money laundering, is “eyewash,” sources claimed.
The case has already been investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and has been pending before the accountability court in Rawalpindi, sources said while talking to The Express Tribune.
Despite three references and eight investigations against the Shraifs, including the money laundering scandal, NAB has been reluctant in taking legal action against the family, sources added.
Legal action could not be taken against the Sharifs after a Division Bench of the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench barred NAB from proceeding against the family in October last year.
Rehman Malik tried to frame charges against the Sharifs during the first tenure of (former premier) Benazir Bhutto but did not succeed, said Punjab government spokesperson Senator Pervez Rashid while talking to The Express Tribune.
Malik succeeded in lodging cases through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) during Benazir’s second tenure and had the 75-year-old Mian Muhammad Sharif and 16-year-old Hamza Shahbaz arrested, Rashid said.
He still failed to have the Sharifs implicated in these cases, he added.
Malik then provided the same material to former president Pervez Musharraf and NAB investigated the cases and filed three references before the Accountability courts but has been unable to prove the allegations, Rashid added.
List of cases
Sources in NAB said that the three references – involving Hudaybia Paper Mills, Ittefaq Foundries and illegal assets in Raiwind – are still pending before the accountability courts in Rawalpindi.
Investigations in these cases started in 1999 but the cases were dormant during the period when the Sharifs were in exile in Saudi Arabia.
In the Hudaybia Paper Mills case, nine members of the Sharif family were accused of committing corruption worth Rs642 million and in Ittefaq Foundries case Nawaz, his brother Abbas Sharif and Kamal Qureshi were charged with willful default of Rs1.06 billion.
In the case of illegal assets in Raiwind, NAB alleges that an amount of Rs247 million is under question.
Besides these references, six investigations and two inquiries are also pending against the Sharifs in NAB.
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