ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar suggested a joint investigation team like the one formed for Panama Papers should be constituted to probe the case of alleged fake bank accounts.
During Monday’s hearing, the head of Omni Group, Anwar Najeed failed to appear in court. The counsel for Omni Group, Shahid Hamid requested the apex court to grant three more days to respond to the orders.
However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar rejected the request.
He remarked that a contempt of court notice should be issued to the owners as they failed to appear in court despite orders.
The chief justice also asked the reason for the absence of Omni Group owners, saying Federal Investigation Agency froze their bank accounts and confiscated their property, therefore, court should do the same.
During the hearing, the DG FIA informed the court that officials had found 15 more accounts of A-One International, from which Rs6 billion had been transacted.
He said that an account was opened in the name of a person, who worked as a graphics designer with a private TV channel, and Rs800 million were transacted from this account. Another fake account was opened in the name of a Lahore woman, from which Rs1.5 billion were remitted.
The official said that he could say that for sure that bribe money was deposited in these accounts.
Hamid said that there was no mention of bribery or corruption in the JIT report and all finances of Omni Group were legal, which was also audited.
He regretted that false allegations are levelled without investigations, for the sake of getting headlines made.
At this, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal told the DG FIA that they could not accuse anyone without investigations.
The chief justice said that they could order formation of a Panama case-like JIT after listening to the the counsels of both sides.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing until August 15.
Earlier, while hearing a suo motu case on fictitious transaction, the chief justice warned no one would be spared if they were found guilty of money laundering. The case pertained to transactions worth billions conducted through several mainstream banks via ‘benami’ accounts.
Former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are among the accused in the case.
Talpur’s counsel Farooq H Naik told the court that a lot of people were being defamed by being named in the probe by the FIA, and asked the bench to stop the publicity surrounding the case.