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JIT hunted juridical cooperation from six states

ISLAMABAD: The JIT had contacted six countries for mutual legal assistance during its 60-day probe into the Sharif family’s offshore assets. Of these, two countries provided ample evidence that became a vital source of information submitted before the Supreme Court, but a response from four countries is still awaited.

In volume one of its probe report, the JIT wrote that it had contacted authorities in six countries for mutual assistance, including the office of attorney general of British Virgin Islands, the UK Home Office, Saudi Arabia’s ministry of interior, UAE’s ministry of justice, the Central Authority Switzerland, and the office of prosecutor general Luxembourg.

British Virgin Islands and the UAE were quick to respond. And their responses formed damning evidence to repudiate the Sharif family’s claims on the money trail they had submitted in the Supreme Court earlier on.

The JIT report is silent on the responses from authorities in four other countries – implying that they were still awaited.

All but the 10th volume of the JIT report is public now. The probe panel had requested the apex court to keep the said volume confidential as according to Wajid Zia – the head of the six-member JIT – it will be helpful in carrying out further investigations.

As the three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, accepted the plea, the volume 10 of the probe report has not been made public.

The report also states that two members of the JIT had visited the UAE to investigate and acquire relevant record and evidence related to the interest and involvement of the Sharif family in business in Dubai with special emphasis on affairs of Capital FZE. A solicitor firm of BVI was hired to pursue and investigate the queries related to BVI raised in the relevant MLA requests.

Govt to file objections

The Sharif family’s legal team will come up with a final strategy on filing objections to the JIT report Friday evening.

Sources told that senior lawyer Khawaja Muhammad Haris is too busy going through the multi-volume JIT report and objections might be filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday (tomorrow).

Regarding the objections, a senior PML-N lawyer said that the ruling family would file legal and factual objections, point out infirmities and argue “transgression of mandate” by the JIT.

A member of the PTI’s legal team told that as part of their “simple” strategy Naeem Bukhari would only argue for half an hour, trying to establish that Premier Sharif was disqualified in view of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution on the basis of the JIT report. The bench may summon the PM in view of its April 20 verdict on the Panamagate case.

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