Transfer of Panama references: NAB tenders apology to SC for misstating facts

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for “misstating facts” in the appeal pertaining to the transfer of Panama corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan heard NAB’s appeal against the transfer of Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship references.
During the hearing, NAB additional prosecutor Haider Ali informed the court, “The bureau’s appeal was fixed for hearing on September 11 and a request had been submitted to adjourn the hearing till a detailed judgment was given.”
He further said that he issued the statement regarding a detailed judgment not being given after consultation with the prosecutor in charge.
“The Islamabad High Court had written a detailed judgment on August 7 and NAB obtained a certified copy of it on August 18,” he added.
The NAB additional prosecutor further said that he issued an apology to the IHC bench for his mistake and they accepted it.
He then tendered an unconditionally apology to the top court.
Transfer of NAB references
On August 7, a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, approved the transfer of both cases from the court of Accountability Judge-I Mohammad Bashir to Accountability Court II.
Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (R) Javed Iqbal had challenged the Islamabad High Court’s order regarding the transfer of Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family to another court. Former premier Nawaz Sharif and Judge Mohammad Bashir were made respondents.
In its petition, NAB stated that after the judgment in Avenfield reference the two remaining cases were under trial. IHC’s order for transfer of the remaining two cases cannot be maintained, the anti-graft body stated.
NAB is an affected party of IHC’s decision and Judge Muhammad Bashir should be allowed to continue hearing the two remaining two cases against Nawaz and his family, the petition further said.
On July 6, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the corruption reference, while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar was also given a one-year sentence without any fine.