Sunday May 29, 2022

Record of $1.5m payment to fake Broadsheet missing

By Sabah
March 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister Office has on Monday received the Broadsheet Inquiry Commission report in which it has been revealed that the record of $1.5 million (Rs 234m) payment made to the Broadsheet Company is missing.According to a private TV channel, the report said the payment related files have been stolen from the ministries of Finance and the Law along with the Attorney General’s Office, while the concerned portion is also missing from the file of the High Commission of Pakistan in London. The wrong payment cannot be considered as negligence, the report stressed. The Broadsheet commission got all its details from NAB documents, the report said.

Let it be known that Joint Secretary Zahid Maqsood collected the document at the PM Office. The report and relevant record comprise 500 pages. The Commission recorded statements of 26 witnesses while one female legal consultant did not appear despite summoning time and again.

The Broadsheet Inquiry Commission has also recommended to de-seal Swiss cases record of the former president Asif Ali Zardari. The committee in its report has unearthed the Swiss cases recorded kept in the record room of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The record should be reviewed as to what has to be done with it, the Broadsheet committee has recommended.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Commission headed by Justice (R) Sheikh Azmat Saeed had started investigation on February 9. The former Supreme Court (SC) judge was appointed under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act 2017 subject to the following Terms of Reference:

a) To examine the process of selection and appointment of Trouvons LLC, Broadsheet LLC and International Asset Recovery Limited (IAR) and execution of agreements in the year 2000.

b) To examine the circumstances, reasons and effect of cancellation of agreements with Broadsheet LLC and IAR in 2003.

c) To identify and determine the reasons and effect of settlement and payments made on behalf of Pakistan to IAR and Broadsheet LLC in 2008 and whether the payments made were justified.

d) To identify the persons or officials responsible for making wrong payment of $1.5 million to the wrong person in the year 2008 which was not entitled to receive such payment.

e) To identify as to whether the arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and subsequent appeal before the High Court of Justice in London regarding Broadsheet LLC were conducted diligently and efficiently.

UK-based asset recovery firm Broadsheet LLC had been hired in 2000 by General Pervez Musharraf’s government to help recover assets stashed by past Pakistani rulers abroad.

Sources further said that the inquiry report was received by Joint Secretary Zahid Maqsood. The report consists of 500 pages. Overall the committee recorded statements of 26 witnesses in the scandal.