ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is considering filing a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict that rejected its plea seeking to reopen Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference against the Sharif family.
A NAB legal team will prepare and file the review petition after plugging loopholes and lacuna pointed out by the judges in its earlier plea to ensure that the fresh appeal does not suffer the same fate.
On Dec 15, the three-judge bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, dismissed the appeal filed by the NAB against a Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict, quashing Hudaibiya Paper Mills against the Sharif family.
The NAB through its Prosecutor General Waqas Qadeer Dar had filed the appeal, pleading the top court to grant leave to appeal to examine the legality, propriety, and vires of the 2014 LHC verdict quashing the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case and set aside the impugned judgment.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Shamim Akhtar, mother of Nawaz, Shehbaz and late Abbas Sharif, Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Hudaibiya Paper Mills Ltd, the federal government, and others were named as respondents in the appeal.
According to the Hudaibiya reference, the Sharif family had been accused of setting up Hudaibiya Paper Mills Ltd to launder illegal money.
A joint investigation team set up to investigate the Sharif family’s offshore properties had recommended in its report that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case should be investigated afresh.
Subsequently, a Supreme Court bench hearing the Panama Papers case had asked the bureau to reopen the case.
The Musharraf government had launched an investigation against the Sharif family members back in 2000 for their alleged involvement in money-laundering.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is a close aide and relative of the Sharifs, had given a confessional statement before a magistrate, alleging that Sharif brothers used the Hudaibiya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.
Dar later retracted his statement and claimed that the statement was gleaned under duress.