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April 26, 2021

Ex-NAB chief makes new revelations about accord with Broadsheet

Top Story

April 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Former chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lt-Gen (R) Syed Muhammad Amjad has said Pakistan made an agreement with a firm whose one of the representatives was facing punishment for doing fraud and cheating with public.

The retired general made these startling revelations in his statement recorded with the Broadsheet Inquiry Commission. Being the chairman NAB, General Amjad met Ronad Rudman, Jerry James and Dr Pepper as representatives of Trouvons, who convinced the NAB boss that they had the requisite capabilities and resources to recover Pakistan's looted money abroad.

In his statement, General (retd) Amjad said he was informed that a special vehicle company in the name of Broadsheet LLC (Isle of Man) ("Broadsheet") and International Asset Recovery Company Limited ("JAR") would be formed solely to deal with the asset recoveries for Pakistan.

“It subsequently transpired that Trouvons' Managing Director Ronald Rudman had managed to get his license to practise as a lawyer suspended for a period of three years for dishonesty/misconduct. Had I been aware of this fact, I would never have even continued further discussions let alone enter into any agreement with Broadsheet or JAR,” General Amjad told the Broadsheet Inquiry Commission. General (retd) Amjad was appointed as the chairman NAB on November 16, 1999 and held the post till 25th September 2000 and he signed the agreement between Pakistan and Broadsheet in June 2000. He said he was not aware whether prior to 12th October 1999, Tariq Fawad Malik and Ghazanfar Sadiq Ali, both representatives of Trouvons Company LLC (“Trouvons”)/GSA Investment Corporation Limited, were in contact with the Ehtesab Bureau/Commission.

“I am also not aware that a draft agreement had been given to the Ehtesab Bureau/Commission which in fact had also obtained a legal opinion from a lawyer in Lahore dated 11 October 1999 regarding the said agreement. I do not recall who introduced Tariq Fawad Malik to NAB while I was Chairman, but 1 had a meeting with Tariq Fawad Malik and Ghazanfar Sadiq Ali in which the late Farooq Adam Khan, the then Prosecutor General Accountability (“PGA”), NAB, was also present,” he said in his statement. At this meeting, the matter of an asset recovery agreement with respect to assets outside Pakistan was discussed, revealed the former chairman NAB.

Tariq Fawad Malik and Ghazanfar Sadiq Ali had said that their Principals were in Denver, Colorada, he added. “On the suggestion of late Farooq Adam Khan, I went to Denver, Colorado, in the last week of March 2000, where I met Jerry James and William Pepper, who represented Trouvons. A general understanding was reached that an asset recovery agreement would be signed whereby assets outside Pakistan and belonging to Pakistan would be traced, recovered and repatriated to Pakistan. All expenditure on this behalf would be the responsibility of Trouvons without any liability on NAB/GoP for such expenses. The agreement was to be on a contingency basis with Trouvons entitled to an agreed share only upon tracing, recovery and repatriation of the funds to Pakistan,” read the statement.

On his return to Pakistan, General Amjad took my team into confidence and instructions were issued to the then PGA, Farooq Adam Khan, to draft the relevant agreement on the basis of the understanding reached as mentioned above, read the statement. Subsequently, Jerry James, perhaps accompanied by Dr William Pepper, came to Pakistan and details of the agreement were executed, said General Amjad. “I was obviously involved in the matter of the quantum of the share to be given to Trouvons from the recovery and repatriation affected. They demanded a thirty percent share, whereas I offered a 10 percent share. Eventually, we agreed on a 20pc share of the amount of the foreign assets traced, recovered and repatriated to Pakistan. As suggested by the joint secretary, NAB in its note dated 26 May 2000, the draft agreement was to be sent to the Ministry of Law as well as the Ministry of Finance for vetting. I approved and issued appropriate directions for sending the draft agreement to the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Finance,” read the statement.

“I later enquired and was informed that the draft ARA had been sent to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law for vetting. This “information” was communicated to me by the then PGA, Farooq Adam Khan. However, such communications were never shown to me. I have seen the record, as appearing on page 347 of Exhibit 22, from which it appears that a decision was taken that the vetting should take place at NAB alone and not sent to the Ministry of Law or Ministry of Finance. It appears from the record that at that juncture, the file was required to be sent to me i.e the chairman, but unfortunately that never happened. A bare perusal of the file reveals that the file was not presented to me nor bears my signature or initials, revealed General Amjad. “A formal Asset Recovery Agreement dated 20 June 2000 was signed by me on behalf of NAB/GoP and Dr William Pepper on behalf of Broadsheet. The second agreement with JAR was executed on 15 July 2000. I have examined the record where there is a note stating that the ARA has been executed as vetted by NAB and without vetting from the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Finance. On the bottom of that note, it appears that purportedly the said file was sent to me and bears some initials in yellow ink. As Chairman, NAB, I always used green ink which is also evident from every file of NAB that was ever put up to me, including the aforementioned file. Reference may be made to my note dated 2 June 2000,” read the statement.

General Amjad continued to state that the matter eventually went into arbitration and he made a witness statement and he was also cross-examined in the arbitration proceedings.