— SC orders FIA to investigate social media campaign against PPP leader and senior lawyer
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday issued a written order stating that the observation of joint investigation team (JIT) related to Farooq Naek, the legal counsel of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, was “irresponsible”.
Following the hearing of a case pertaining to money laundered through fictitious bank accounts, the apex court order said, “The decision of nullifying the observation, pertaining to Farooq Naek, will be deliberated by the apex court while further reviewing the JIT report.”
The top court, in its order further directed the “Federal Investigation Team (FIA) to probe into the social media campaign against PPP lawyer Latif Khosa”.
Furthermore, the SC in its order expressed concerns over the report submitted by the JIT and argued that “the federal cabinet placed 172 suspects on the Exit Control List (ECL) merely on the basis of recommendations put forth by the investigation team”.
The next hearing of the case will take place on January 7.
During the last hearing, the SC had warned the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against toppling PPP’s government in Sindh and directed the federal cabinet to review its decision of placing the names of 172 individuals on the ECL.
CJP Nisar had expressed anger at the placement of names on the no-fly list and ordered that the interior minister, who ordered to place the names on ECL to appear before the court and had further asked why the names were place on the ECL.
The JIT probing the money laundering case has held the Zardari Group, Omni Group and Bahria Town responsible in its report submitted to the apex court last Monday. The report had also suggested that all the suspects in the case be placed on the ECL.
In view of the JIT findings, the federal government on Friday released a list of 172 suspects whose names were placed on the no-fly list. The list included PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, party’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, presidents of a number of local banks, and other former ministers, bureaucrats and businessmen.
Irked at the government’s move, the chief justice wondered how all these individuals could be barred from flying.
The attorney general claimed that Shah was never summoned and requested the court to take his name off ECL. The chief justice responded that Shah could lodge a request with the court if he has to travel somewhere, but the decision to place his name on the no-fly list will be reviewed by the federal cabinet.