Tuesday September 28, 2021

Broadsheet-NAB back in court over $1.2 million

LONDON: The Broadsheet LLC and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are back in the London High Court after failing to agree on the issue of costs and interests related to the payment of remaining US$ 1,222,037.90 (£892,521.50).

The Pakistan government lawyers at the Allen and Overy have told Broadsheet and its CEO Kaveh Moussavi that they agree to pay the sums of US$ 1,222,037.90 but will not pay the interest of £33,646.84 and costs of £35,000.

The Broadsheet LLC’s lawyers at Crowell & Moring have approached the court asking that Pakistan also pay £33,646.84 and costs of £35,000 when paying US$ 1,222,037.90.

After months of litigation and delays, Pakistan government’s lawyers this week said, ahead of the court hearing, that they have approval from the NAB to pay US$ 1,222,037.90 but the discussions and approvals or otherwise on the remaining demands could take time. The Broadsheet LLC’s lawyers have said that they would ask the court to issue orders on the issue of interest and costs.

NAB’s lawyers have said, according to a communication seen by this reporter, that they are instructed only to pay the sums frozen by United Bank Limited in London on the court order while there is no approval for the satisfaction of balance of interest and costs from the sum.

The Broadsheet LLC was hired by Pakistan more than two decades ago to trace assets belonging to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, as well as several other politicians and businessmen including Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan broke the contract in violation of the agreement it had signed and the case has so far cost Pakistan close to $65 million in legal fees and awards after Kaveh Moussavi, who beneficially owns Broadsheet, brought the case before sole arbitrator Sir Anthony Evans QC under the rules of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The Broadsheet LLC’s lawyers convinced London High Court to seize Pakistan’s assets at United Bank Limited (UBL) in December 2020. Since then Broadsheet has made further claims over the remaining sums, interests and costs. The case is set for a hearing before the Master.