Friday May 17, 2024

Minister Ali Zaidi was in touch with Broadsheet’s CEO, evidence shows

By Murtaza Ali Shah
March 23, 2022
Minister Ali Zaidi was in touch with Broadsheet’s CEO, evidence shows

LONDON: Federal Minister Ali Haider has confirmed that he passed information received from Broadsheet's CEO Kaveh Moussavi to the “relevant authorities” and had no further role to play.

In a world exclusive interview in which the Broadsheet CEO apologised to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif withdrawing all allegations of corruption and saying that he was sorry to be a part of the National Accountability Bureau’s witch-hunt of Nawaz Sharif, Kaveh Moussavi revealed that he was in touch with Prime Minister Imran Khan through a minister. He said the two ministers were Shehzad Akbar and Ali Haider Zaidi.

About Ali Haider Zaidi, the Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Kaveh Moussavi said he was in touch with him through Skype and WhatsApp and had told him he was speaking to him with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s mandate.

Ali Haider Zaidi confirmed to The News that he was in touch with Kaveh Moussavi but he didn’t answer what was discussed during their interaction. However, Ali Zaidi endorsed Kaveh Moussavi’s claim that he had shared crucial information with him. Ali Zaidi said: “I passed all the info to the relevant authorities. That’s all!”

On 15 January 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that he would be reaching out to Kaveh Moussavi. The PM said in an interview: “We are going to reach out to the Broadsheet CEO and request him to share full details with us, especially the government that will seek detailed information from him. So far, it's in the media only but we are going to ask him for full details to share with us what happened, who met, when and how so that we officially know.”

On 13 January 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “The Broadsheet owner has said that a Pakistani politician transferred USD 1 billion USD from Saudi Arabia to London, he’s not naming who but USD 1 billion sent by one man; the people here are very rich but the country is poor and under the debt. The country is relying on debt. There are Pakistanis who live in palaces in the most expensive areas of London.”

Kaveh Moussavi confirmed on Tuesday evening that Ali Zaidi got in touch with him on 14 January 2021 and they started talking. Like Ali Zaidi, he didn't go into details of what was discussed but confirmed he passed important information on Zaidi's request.

Neither PM Imran Khan nor Kaveh Moussavi named Nawaz Sharif but it was speculated that the alleged USD 1 billion belonged to Nawaz Sharif as the PM made reference to Pakistanis living in expensive London areas – a reference he has often used for the two sons of Nawaz Sharif who live on Park Lane.

However, Kaveh Moussavi has said that during his investigation he found “not a Rupee” linked to Nawaz Sharif and family anywhere in the world. He has also said that it was a fiction spread in the media ahead of 2018 general elections that Nawaz Sharif may have an account in Singapore linked to the same alleged amount. Kaveh Moussavi has said that there is no such amount linked to Nawaz Sharif and Broadsheet didn’t make any such finding.

Kaveh Moussavi said on Tuesday that The News published the exclusive story and Geo News aired the interview, he started receiving non-stop phone calls from Pakistani media requesting an interview and some asking him to rebut the story of The News and Geo but Kaveh Moussavi took to Twitter and re-published the story of The News. The story became headline across all channels after Geo aired it on Tuesday morning and almost every major talk show discussed the apology.

The Broadsheet’s CEO, Kaveh Moussavi, alleged that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reiterated yesterday that his assets recovery firm had found no evidence of corruption against Nawaz Sharif and his family after Geo News aired an exclusive interview in which Kaveh Moussavi apologised to the former prime minister for making false allegations of corruption against him and for running a campaign against him for over two decades.

Kaveh Moussavi tweeted that the “Broadsheet had found millions of stolen loot but not one Rupee attributable to Nawaz Sharif or family”.

He tweeted: “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing this morning. Delighted to see the press waking up to the fact that NAB is the corrupt entity that needs to be investigated. I confirm again: Broadsheet found millions of stolen loot, but not 1 rupee attributable to Nawaz Sharif or family. Period!”

Kaveh Moussavi further said that NAB wanted his assets recovery firm to only go after the political enemies of the then government but he refused. The Broadsheet CEO said: “Let me spell it out. NAB was a witch-hunt outfit, not an anti-corruption agency. They wanted us to go after their political enemies. We said “No”. We are an anti-corruption outfit. We found stolen money. They sacked us. The court agreed with us! NAB was a conspiracy to defraud!”

Earlier, Kaveh Moussavi issued a profound apology to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif withdrawing all corruption allegations and for being part of a “witch-hunt” that has been running in the name of accountability for over two decades.

In an exclusive interview with this reporter, the Broadsheet’s CEO and former Oxford University associate said he was apologising to Nawaz Sharif to set the record straight that he had not found a “scintilla of evidence” and “not one Rupee” during Broadsheet’s forensic investigation into Nawaz Sharif and his family for over two decades.

Kaveh Moussavi said Broadsheet’s investigations found no evidence of corruption, stolen or hidden wealth or unexplained wealth anywhere in the world. He said: “Not one rupee. We found a lot of plundered wealth but not one Rupee relating to Mr Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister, or any member of his family. Not one Rupee, I can categorically say that after virtually 21 years of investigations. If anybody tells you otherwise, they are lying to you.”

Moussavi said: “I have no hesitation in issuing an apology to the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for having been a part of the sham, the scandalous non-sense masquerading as NAB. It’s a fraud through and through.”

When asked if he was aware that he was apologising to Nawaz Sharif as there were deep political consequences to it, Kaveh Moussavi repeated his apology addressing Nawaz Sharif directly. “I repeat it: Mr Sharif, we owe you an apology because Mr Sharif you clearly were the victim of a massive organised scandalous witch-hunt. There’s no question about that. When facts change, I change my views. 22 years ago when Pervez Musharraf asked us to investigate you, we were led to believe and we started investigating and at every turn we found that that investigation was sabotaged not because we were getting close to things but because the intention was something else. That actually was a witch-hunt, the intention was not to find any looted assets.”

Kaveh Moussavi added: “We proceeded independently and I can tell you categorically we didn’t find one Rupee of stolen assets or assets which can be attributed to either Mr Nawaz Sharif or his family.”

Last year, Kaveh Moussavi won over $30 million from the Government of Pakistan at London High Court after the arbitration judge Sir Anthony ruled in favour of Moussavi and the same case has cost Pakistan over $65 million. Kaveh Moussavi has worked as an International Arbitrator at the International Court of Arbitration and as an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University and Head of Public Interest Law, Oxford University. Broadsheet had signed a contract with Pervez Musharraf government in 1999 to find the alleged stolen wealth of Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and hundreds of Pakistanis from civil, political, business and military backgrounds.