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February 24, 2018

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UK expert’s testimony endorses The News probe

ISLAMABAD: The statement and cross examination of British forensic ‘expert’ Robert William Radley during the proceedings of the accountability court in references against the Sharifs has endorsed The News investigations that all the four major achievements of the Panama JIT were baseless and were given under extreme pressure.

Radley is one of the four ‘critical evidences’ regarding the use of Calibri font in the year 2006 while the other three had already been proved false or twisted. Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz have presented a trust deed typed in the Calibri font before the Supreme Court and the JIT, which was signed in 2006. The JIT, on the basis of a claim of an expert, had given a ‘final conclusion’ in its final report that as Calibri became commercially available in 2007, the said trust deed was fake. During his cross examination, Radley first admitted that the Calibri font was available for download in 2006 and even in 2005 but only IT experts used to download it. As per reports, when Radley was asked whether he downloaded the same font in 2005, he responded “Yes”. When asked whether he was an IT expert, he replied, “No”.

The News has published its detailed investigations on the final JIT report on July 13, 2017 that all the four foreign documents/ reports acquired by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case and presented on the very first page of the report as a major success and ‘critical evidences’are flawed and based on misunderstanding of the JIT and cannot be termed as evidence anyway.

In its findings, The News July 13 report had also concluded, “A perusal of the JIT final report shows that questions asked from foreign authorities were trickily framed in a way to get only specific answers instead of getting the whole picture of the issue, selected witnesses were examined and key witnesses were ignored and the report was written with a predefined target in mind.”

Four critical evidences acquired by the Panama JIT and given on the first page of the final JIT final report reads;

“Summary of the Investigation:

During the course of investigation the following critical documentary evidence has been acquired by the JIT.

(a)- Confirmation of the beneficial ownership of the Maryam Nawaz of BVI companies, namely; Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited by the Financial Investigation Agency, British Virgin Islands – (Volume V);

(b) Confirmation of Chairmanship of Mian Nawaz Sharif in offshore company namely; FZE Capital, U.A.E. by Jabel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) - (Volumes VI and IX);

(c) Confirmation of fictitious sale/ purchase agreements submitted to Honourable Court by the Respondents, by the Ministry of Justice, UAE, (Volume III); and

(d) Submission of falsified/ tampered Declarations of Trusts by the Respondents in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and before the JIT, as per report of forensic expert, UK. (Volume IV).

Regarding the trust deed and the use of Calibri font, The News has reported that according to all authentic resources, the Calibri font was designed in 2004 and was available for download in 2004/05 before its commercial availability in January 2007. Even the biased opinion of an expert who basically was a political activist belonging to PTI could not use conclusive words and said that it was highly unlikely that font could have been used by a notarising firm in 2006.

The News has reported that had this been proved and established that Calibri font was invented only in 2007 and never existed before, it could have proved the point that documents were faked. “If it is an admitted fact that the said font was present for download after 2004, how it can be declared (and that too beyond any doubt) that the 2006 Trust Deed document is fake?”

The News in its July 13 report has also revealed a startling fact that proved the extreme hidden pressure on the JIT members beyond any doubt. The News reported, “It is important to mention that a British company Freeman Box witnessed this deed agreement in 2006 according to the Trust Deed documents submitted to the Supreme Court. It is very interesting that a British company ‘Quist Solicitors’, allegedly owned by a PTI activist, hired by the JIT, wrote to the Freeman Box to confirm whether Freeman Box witnessed Trust Deed between Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz in 2006. The Freeman Box responded to the Quist that it is true that the company witnessed this trust deed agreement in 2006. However, the JIT never ever mentioned this fact in its final report’s findings.” The response of Freeman Box was the basic and critical evidence bit it was hidden by the JIT members of because of the same hidden pressure.

Among the other three major success of the JIT, one was ‘confirmation’ of beneficial ownership of Maryam Nawaz of offshore companies. The same conclusion of the Panama JIT was based on confirmation of Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) of British Virgin Island (BVI) of a presence in its record of a letter written to it a law firm.

The JIT hasn’t asked FIA of BVI specifically about the beneficial ownership of the offshore companies Nielsen & Nescoll to mislead the apex court. The JIT asked FIA of BVI only to confirm its communication with the law firm which it did. But when the JIT specifically asked about beneficial ownership of the offshore companies, it received no response and instead was asked to provide evidence of any wrongdoing by the persons named in its Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request. As there was no evidence, nothing was shared.

Another was about “offshore company in UAE” with Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as its Chairman. It was proved that the JIT, under some extreme pressure, used the words “offshore company” to mislead the SC whereas the Nawaz Sharif has already declared the same company and his status as chairman in his nomination papers while contesting 2013 general elections. Yet another big ‘success’ of JIT was submission of fake sale agreement by Sharifs in apex court and which was confirmed by the UAE authorities. It was revealed later that the JIT provided wrong information to the UAE authorities to seek some information about different business transactions which took place in 1970s and early 2000s. The UAE authorities responded to the JIT queries with regard to the wrongly provided information and the JIT not only termed the same responses from the UAE as ‘critical evidence’ but also submitted them to the SC.

To date, after about six months of proceedings, not a single witness was presented before the accountability court, or any documentary evidence submitted by the NAB, could prove any of the allegations which were levelled by the Panama JIT under extreme pressure in its final report comprising ten volumes.

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