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May 5, 2017

SC special bench forms JIT in Panama Papers case

ISLAMABAD: Special bench of the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by an Additional Director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the allegations of financial irregularities and money laundering involving the prime minister and his family for establishing properties abroad.

The special bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsen issued the order while hearing into the implementation of the Panama Papers verdict case here Friday.

According to the orders of the court, the six-member team will be headed by Additional Director FIA Wajid Zia.

The members of the JIT include Brigadier Kamran Khursheed from the Military Intelligence (MI), Amir Aziz from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Bilal Rasool, an executive director at the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Irfan Naeem Mangi, Director at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and Muhammad Nauman Saeed form the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The bench on Wednesday had rejected the nominations by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for JIT.

Today’s order states, “the Secretariat of the JIT shall be housed in the Building of the Federal Judicial Academy, Islamabad where they shall be provided adequate office accommodation and related facilities.

The Federal Government is directed to provide Rs 20 million initial funds forthwith so that the JIT may not feel handicapped in its movement in any direction.

The JIT will have the power to engage and associate local/foreign experts to facilitate the investigation and collection of evidence in line with the letter and spirit of order dated 20.04.2017 of this Court.

The special bench also directed the Secretary Interior to ensure necessary security arrangements for the Secretariat and the Members of the JIT.

The JIT has been directed to commence and complete the investigation and submit its final report in terms of the order dated 20.04.2017. It shall also submit fortnightly progress reports as stipulated in the said order.

The hearing was adjourned and the further proceedings to come up on May 22.