Moussavi allegations open can of worms


LONDON: Days after accusing the Sharifs of offering him a bribe to drop an investigation, Broadsheet LLC owner Kaveh Moussavi has turned his guns on the incumbent government and called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to publish the arbitration order that resulted in the loss of a whopping $29 million to the national exchequer.

“I challenge the government of Pakistan to open up the judgement of Sir Anthony Evans – it will be damning,” Mr Moussavi said in a new interview with Youtube channel host Irfan Hashmi.

“If there is any claim to the credibility of Imran Khan in fighting corruption, he should publish the judgement for the people of Pakistan to read. If he does that I will begin to think he is gaining some credibility.”

Mr Moussavi appeared incensed by the remarks made by accountability advisor Shahzad Akbar earlier this week, in which he said that the asset recovery company did not deliver what it had promised.

Broadsheet owner hits out at govt adviser; calls Imran’s accountability process into question

“He [Moussavi] bought a company that was in liquidation, did nothing to assist Pakistan… because of him Pakistan did not get anything,” Mr Akbar had told this correspondent, in response to questions about the payment of the hefty court-mandated award to Broadsheet LLC.

Mr Moussavi, who in the past week has accused the Sharifs, Asif Ali Zardari, Gen Musharraf, an unnamed general and an unidentified individual purportedly linked to the PTI government of bribery, kickbacks and selective accountability, has now criticised Mr Khan and his cabinet for apathy and an ‘insincere’ accountability drive.

“Mr Akbar is portraying it as though Broadsheet did not perform. If Shahzad Akbar has not done his research, he should be sacked,” Mr Moussavi said.

He added: “Broadsheet did its work, the court awarded it money because it had done it work. We claimed hundreds of millions of dollars because we found billions, but NAB sabotaged it.”

He repeated his allegation that an unnamed man who Mr Moussavi believed was part of a government delegation visiting London with Shahzad Akbar in 2018, asked him for a cut when he spoke of a bank account with “stolen $1 billion”.

He said he informed the government’s lawyers about the man who asked for a cut but it was a “big mistake” as there was no action from it.

“I should have reported to the police in the United Kingdom,” he added.

Earlier, Mr Moussavi alleged that a man identifying himself as Anjum Dar and claiming to be related to Nawaz Sharif offered him a $25 million bribe to stop investigating the Sharif family in 2012. Hussain Nawaz refuted this allegation, and said the family had no relative with that name.

Mr Moussavi later responded: “If Imran Khan and the Sharifs continue to spin and threaten, I will simply publish the judgement and you will see what the court said about Broadsheet’s performance.”

Surprisingly, the only person Mr Moussavi speaks well of is Gen Muhammad Amjad, the head of NAB appointed by Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2000, and the person who engaged Broadsheet LLC for its services against the Sharifs.

Gen Amjad has thus far stayed away from the media uproar on the Broadsheet saga. In 2017, he appeared before a joint investigation team to give evidence in a case against Nawaz Sharif.

In the past week, Mr Moussavi has appeared on several news channels and made corruption allegations against several individuals, some of whom he has identified.

The Broadsheet contract, signed by Gen Amjad in 2000, maintained that the firm would receive 20 per cent of the assets recovered, with the remainder going to NAB.

The contract gave Broadsheet the authority to initiate litigation or enforcement proceedings deemed necessary to seize assets on behalf of NAB.

NAB and Broadsheet also agreed to open a bank account which would be jointly controlled by NAB and the company, and it was agreed that all assets proceeds recovered would be deposited in the account.

The agreement also stated that the contract was binding on respective successors.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021