Babar Awan of PPP received Rs 35m for favorable verdict

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ISLAMABAD: The main accused in the Rs 9 billion Bank of Punjab loan scam Sheikh Afzal and his son Haris Afzal said they had paid Dr Babar Awan Rs 5 million as fee and Rs 35 million in kickbacks for getting a favourable verdict in the case from then Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Afzal, who was brought to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, disclosed a list of top lawyers who allegedly took millions of rupees to plead his case in court.

He alleged that besides Babar Awan, the incumbent parliamentary affairs’ minister, who took Rs 40 million for getting a favourable verdict, he paid senior lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada Rs 10 million, Malik Muhammad Qayyum, then attorney general, Rs 20 million and Ali Wasim, son of Wasim Sajjad, Rs 7.5 million as fees for defending him in the loan scam case.

Afzal said that in addition to the mentioned lawyers, he had given Rs 400-500 million to Hamesh Khan, former BoP president, Rs 30 million to Aziz Ahmed, BoP’s risk control manager, Rs 50 million to Haroon Aziz, Rs 10 million to Shoaib Qureshi, Rs 40 million to BoP’s treasury head Saleem Mirza, and Rs 5 million to Fazeel Asghar, who helped him flee the country despite his name being placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The three-member Supreme Court bench consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and Justice Tariq Parvez directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) not to harass the family of Sheikh Afzal, but allowed NAB to take necessary action for recovering the looted money.

Meanwhile, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Law Director Azam Khan submitted a report about the steps taken so far for the extradition of former BoP president Hamesh Khan from the US.

The report said relevant documents had already been provided to the US Justice Department, but authorities had not received any response in this regard so far.

Afzal had fled to England and had then moved to Malaysia, from where the FIA and NAB arrested him with Interpol’s assistance.

The SC praised the FIA for bringing the fugitives back to the country.

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