ISLAMABAD - Prosecutor General NAB Waqas Qadeer Dar on Monday submitted the documents containing two references including Hudaibiya Paper Mills scam and the alleged illegal construction of the Sharif family’s Raiwind estate in the ongoing Panamagate case in the apex court.

According to the documents available with The Nation, an interim reference against the accused Nos 1-2 and 4-6 was filed before the Accountability Court Attock, under section 18 (g) of NAB Ordinance whereby it was submitted that the directors/shareholders and beneficial owners of the M/S Hudaibya Papers Mills Ltd (HPML) had committed sets of corruption and corrupt practice defined under Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance 1999.

The reference said that an unexplained investment of Rs642,743 million appeared in the books of HPML as share deposit money. The same belonged to the directors/shareholders and beneficial owner of the company, which they had fraudulently amassed under the garb of foreign equity investment. Furthermore, in November, 1999 the company had settled its loan with Al-Towfeek Company for Investment Funds, London, by making a payment of $8.7 million and the source of this payment also appeared to be doubtful.

Further investigation was carried out into the matter and in the light of additional evidence this final Reference (November 16, 2000) was submitted to be read with an in addition to the interim reference already filed.

It is to be mentioned here that the National Accountability Bureau in 2000 had recommended that the Sharif family, including PM Nawaz Sharif, be tried for committing corruption and corrupt practices in Hudaibiya Papers Mills Ltd (HPML).

Former chairman NAB Lt-General Khalid Maqbool on November 16, 2000, had approved the reference that all the accused persons may be tried and proceeded against in accordance with law by this court.

However, in 2014, the Lahore High Court had quashed that the Hudaibiya Mills reference against the Sharifs. The NAB did not challenge this order in the apex court.

The reference was filed against Hudaibiya Papers Mills Ltd (1), Mian Muhammad Sharif (2), Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (3), Mian Shahbaz Sharif (4), Mian Muhammad Abbas Shairf (5), Hussain Nawaz (6), Hamza Shahbaz Sharif (7), Mrs Shamim Akhtar (8), Mrs Sabiha Abbass (9), and Mariam Safdar.

As the five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, would resume proceeding today (Tuesday), the NAB chairman will appear in person before the bench. In the last hearing of the case, the court had summoned the chairmen NAB and FBR.

The then chairman had stated: “I have gone through the record placed before me, the statements of witnesses and report of the investigation officer. It appears from the evidence that in order to launder and conceal their ill-gotten wealth accused No 3 & 4 Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif appeared to have fraudulently opened fictitious foreign currency accounts to the name of various individuals with the active connivance of some of their close associates and employees. The amount that have been deposited in the same accounts stands unexplained and appears to be beyond the known sources of income of the accused individuals.

The fraudulent accounts and deposits therein were used by the accused persons as collateral to obtain loans from various financial institutions. Subsequently, the same deposits were released, en-cashed and the proceeds were used to adjust financial facilities availed by various companies owned by the accused persons. The amount so encashed and paid were shown as equity investment in the company. Thus all the accused in collusion and in connivance with each other appear to have committed acts of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under section 9 read with section 10 of the NAB Ordinance.

Keeping in view the personalities involved and the ever present danger to the security of all persons involved in the trial of the accused, it is deemed necessary and appropriate in the interest of justice, fair play and transparency of proceeding that this reference be filed in the Court Attock Fort.

TERENCE J SIGAMONY