NAB closes inquiries, including the Sharif Trust Case against Nawaz and family

NAB terminates probe under Section 31-B of the National Accountability Act, 2022, as amended by the PDM government.
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has closed six corruption investigations, including the Sharif Trust case brought against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
According to the accountability body’s statement, the decision was made during the bureau’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) on January 1, 2024, which was chaired by NAB Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt.
The NAB stated that it received approval to close the Sharif Trust case. The investigation into the case was launched on March 31, 2000, and the complaint claimed that the Sharif family received large sums of money from the Sharif Trust illegally.
Additionally, it was claimed that the trust’s accounts had not been audited and that funds had been misappropriated. The Sharif family allegedly acquired assets under the guise of benami properties held in the trust’s name.
In its report to the Supreme Court, the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to investigate the Panama Papers criticized the NAB for delaying the Sharif Trust case investigation without proper justification.
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The JIT recommended that the NAB be directed to take prompt action to complete the investigation.
The bureau has now terminated the investigation under Section 31-B of the National Accountability Act, 2022, as amended by the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government.
Section 31B states: “Withdrawal and Termination of Pending Proceedings: (1) Prior to the filing of a reference, the Chairman of the NAB, in consultation with the Prosecutor General, may, having regard to the totality of facts, circumstances, and evidence, partly, wholly, conditionally, or unconditionally withdraw or terminate any proceedings under this Act if they are unjustified.”
“(2) After the filing of a reference, if the Chairman of the NAB, in consultation with the Prosecutor General, is of the opinion that the reference is partly or wholly unjustified, he may recommend to the Court for approval where the matter is pending that the reference be partly or wholly withdrawn or terminated, and upon such withdrawal or termination: (i) if it is made before a charge has been framed, the accused shall be discharged in respect of such offence or offences;
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In addition, the NAB closed the Safe City corruption case against Islamabad Inspector General (IG) Akbar Nasir Khan as well as the Park Enclave Housing Society case against Capital Development Authority (CDA) officers/officials.
The accountability body also closed investigations into federal government officials for illegal appointments of favoured individuals, including Shahid Malik, Shahbaz Yaseen Malik, Saima Shehbaz Malik, and others.