ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday, while hearing a case against former Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Zafar Hijazi, interrogated as to why the two SECP employees allegedly linked to record tampering in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case were not named as co-defendants.
IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was hearing a petition filed by Hijazi. Hijazi’s counsel told the court that both the money laundering and investigation-related allegations against him are from before December 17, 2014, when he was appointed as the SECP chairman.
He further argued that the prosecution’s case is “based on dishonesty” since both the accusers could not provide any solid evidence to support their allegations. Justice Kayani then said that if what the counsel was saying was true, both the suboridnates—who had accused Hijazi of coercing them into tampering the records— should be nominated as co-defendants in the case.
Justice Kayani asked Assistant Attorney General Chaudhry Haseeb to ask the FIA why the two witnesses and others accused had not been named as co-defendants in the case.
The case proceedings were adjourned until February 22.
ZAFAR HIJAZI CASE
In October 2017, a special court of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) indicted Hijazi in a record tampering case pertaining to Chaudhry Sugar Mills owned by the Sharif family.
According to the charge sheet, Hijazi had coerced his subordinates to change dates on documents related to the sugar mills. Hijazi pleaded not guilty to the charges before the special court judge, Iram Niazi.
His counsel argued that the statement of SECP officer, Maheen Fatima, was not solid enough to initiate trial proceedings against Hijazi. However, the prosecutor opposed the remarks, following which Hijazi was indicted.
Hijazi was arrested by FIA on July 21 after the expiry of his bail before arrest.
A 28-page enquiry report was submitted by the FIA to the Supreme Court on July 9, in which it had accepted the decision of the joint investigation team investigating the offshore assets of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif with regards to the Panama Papers case.