ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Office on Monday received the Broadsheet Inquiry Commission report, revealing that the record of $1.5 million (Rs 234m) payment made to the Broadsheet Company was missing.
Citing the Inquiry Commission report, a private TV channel reported that the payment related files have been stolen from the ministries of Finance, Law along and the Attorney General’s Office, while the relevant portion is also missing from the files of the High Commission of Pakistan in London. The wrong payment cannot be considered as negligence, the report stressed. The c got all its details from NAB documents, the report said.
The commission, headed by Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed, started the investigation on February 9. The report and relevant records are spread over 500 pages. The commission recorded statements of 26 witnesses, while one female legal consultant did not appear despite summoning time and again. The Broadsheet Inquiry Commission has recommended to de-seal Swiss cases record of the former president Asif Ali Zardari. The committee in its report unearthed the Swiss cases record kept in the Record Room of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The Broadsheet committee has recommended reviewing the record to determine the needful action.
The Commission headed by Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed a former Supreme Court (SC) judge was appointed under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act 2017 subject to the following Terms of Reference:
a) To examine the process of selection and appointment of Trouvons LLC, Broadsheet LLC and International Asset Recovery Limited (IAR) and execution of agreements in the year 2000.
b) To examine the circumstances, reasons and effect of cancellation of agreements with Broadsheet LLC and IAR in 2003.
c) To identify and determine the reasons and effect of settlement and payments made on behalf of Pakistan to IAR and Broadsheet LLC in 2008 and whether the payments made were justified.
d) To identify the persons or officials responsible for making wrong payment of $1.5 million to the wrong person in the year 2008 which was not entitled to receive such payment.
e) To identify as to whether the arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and subsequent appeal before the High Court of Justice in London regarding Broadsheet LLC were conducted diligently and efficiently.
The UK-based asset recovery firm Broadsheet LLC was hired in 2000 by General Pervez Musharraf’s government to help recover assets stashed by the past rulers, abroad.