–Zarina Isa tells SC she transferred £700,000 through two foreign accounts to buy assets
–Says she used her Spanish passport to purchase UK properties
ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s wife Zarina Carrera Khoso on Thursday submitted the money trail of her three properties in the United Kingdom to a full bench of the Supreme Court (SC) via video link in an assets concealment and alleged misconduct case against her husband.
Justice Isa had told the apex court on Wednesday that his wife wanted to appear before the SC bench to explain the sources of her UK properties.
Subsequently, following the top court’s approval she testified that all the money was transferred from Pakistan to UK through her two foreign accounts.
“Properties in Karachi were sold out and two bank accounts — one in British pounds and the other in US dollars — were opened in a private bank to transfer the money.
“From 2003-2013, a total of £700,000 was transferred through these two foreign accounts in the Standard Chartered Bank’s Karachi branch,” she added.
Khoso clarified that she was a Spanish citizen and that she had used her passport to purchase the properties in London. She added that when her husband was a lawyer, she would get a five-year visa.
However, the Pakistani authorities had issued a one-year visa after 2018 only to create hurdles.
Justice Isa’s wife explained that since she was born in Spain and her father’s and mother’s names, respectively, were Khoso and Carrera, her name on her birth certificate and passport is Zarina Carrera Khoso.
After she got married to Justice Isa back in 1983, however, the Pakistani government registered her name on her CNIC as Zarina Isa.
In her statement, the judge’s wife said her tax returns were filed after advice from Rehan Naqvi, her solicitor, and that she owned a house in Clifton, as well as a plot in Shah Latif Town. She has also received agricultural land from her father, which is now in her name.
Khoso said she was advised that according to the law, tax returns were not filed on agricultural land. All of her taxes were filed after consultations with Naqvi, she added, noting that the last tax return she had filed was over Rs7.6 million.
JUSTICE ISA OPPOSES SENDING MATTER TO FBR:
In a rare appearance before the bench, Justice Isa had opposed the court’s suggestion the other day to the federal government to refer the matter of his family members’s foreign assets to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), providing an opportunity to the spouse of the judge to explain about the sources for purchasing the London properties.
Justice Isa, while opposing the proposal of the apex court, had prayed for deciding the case on merit.
Justice Bandial had directed Munir A Malik — who was on video link from the Karachi registry — to ask the judge’s spouse to submit her explanation, with all documentary evidence, in writing.
Malik had said he took the instant case not because it pertained to an apex court judge but to protect the integrity and independence of the judiciary. He submitted that it would be in the interest of justice that the instant case be decided on merit.
Justice Isa, however, had said the government had consented to the court’s proposal and he had to give his reply. He submitted that the counsel for the federation was repeatedly asking for the money trail. The judge said the council did not summon him for hearing him while the government submitted the replies very late.
He had prayed before the bench that his wife be given an opportunity to share details.
Justice Isa had contended that his spouse was not a lawyer and not in a position to submit a written response and, therefore, should be heard. She could reply to all the questions.
“Justice not only be done but seems to be done,” Justice Isa had submitted.
Earlier in the day, during the hearing of the case Justice Bandial had remarked that Justice Isa’s wife was a dignified lady but doesn’t know the norms of the court and therefore she should be careful.
“We know she is not a petitioner, but she is connected with this dispute,” he said.
The PTI led federal government moved the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Isa in May 2019 claiming that the judge had committed misconduct by not disclosing in his wealth statement his family members’ properties in the UK.