LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that revelations made by Broadsheet LLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kaveh Moussavi had exposed the “politically inspired witch-hunt of Nawaz Sharif and family in the name of so-called accountability”.
The remarks by the leader of the opposition came after Moussavi apologised to the former prime minister over bribery charges during an interview with a local news channel.
Moussavi, in an interview with a private TV channel, said that he could ‘categorically’ state after more than two decades of investigation that none of the money was related to either Nawaz or his family. He also apologised to the PML-N supremo.
“Corruption allegations were made to keep him out of public life. Now the whole edifice of lies, deceit and character assassination stands demolished,” Shehbaz added.
Broadsheet CEO's revelations expose politically inspired witch-hunt of Nawaz Sharif & family in the name of so-called accountability. Corruption allegations were made to keep him out of public life. Now the whole edifice of lies, deceit & character assassination stands demolished— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) March 22, 2022
Broadsheet LLC was incorporated in the Isle of Man to help Pervez Musharraf’s government and the then newly established NAB to track down foreign assets purchased by Pakistanis allegedly through their ill-gotten wealth.
After NAB terminated the contract in 2003, Broadsheet LLC and another company involved as a third party filed for damages in a United Kingdom court.
It claimed that Pakistan owed them money according to the terms agreed upon since the government was taking action to confiscate some of the assets they had identified, including the Avenfield property owned by the family of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The companies’ claims against Pakistan were held valid by an arbitration court in 2016 and later by a United Kingdom high court that gave an award of over $28 million against Pakistan last year.
Broadsheet LLC arbitration decision came in 2016 – the same year when the Panama Papers had rocked Pakistan. However, nobody knew about it until a court in the UK ordered authorities to deduct $28.7 million from Pakistan High Commission’s account in London.
In January 2021, Moussavi accused the Sharif family of bribery and asserted that a man named Anjum Dar approached him in 2012 and identified himself as Nawaz Sharif’s nephew. “The man said he wanted to talk about the information we have against the Sharif family.”
Moussavi alleged that during the meeting, the man offered $25 million for not disclosing information and evidence regarding the Sharif family’s assets, which he turned down, saying that any such amount should be offered through a conciliatory court.
When asked why the Sharif family contacted him about ten years after the completion of his investigation in 2003, Moussavi said: “The Sharif family knew that when the matter would be brought before the court, the judge would get down to the bottom of the matter and thus once again the case of their alleged corruption will come to light which they did not want.”
Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz denied the allegations in local media at the time.