LONDON: The prosecutor general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), who drafted the Broadsheet Agreement, first told the London High Court’s arbitration judge in August 2010 that Nawaz Sharif and his associates owned “ill-begotten assets” of around $1 billion, but five years later in July 2015, he took a U-turn and told the same court that the figures quoted in his 2010 affidavit were speculative and “based on rumour and gossip”, according to court papers.
This correspondent has seen both affidavits, submitted before the London High Court by Farouk Adam Khan, who was prosecutor general of NAB from November 1999 to November 2000 and accepted the position on the request of General Syed Amjad.
Court papers confirm that Farouk Adam Khan was at the centre of the Broadsheet Agreement alongside General Amjad, Tariq Fawad Malik, Jerry James, Dr Pepper Williams and Ghazanfar Ali.
As a witness for Broadsheet in 2010 before the London High Court, the former NAB PG claimed that Nawaz Sharif & his associates owned a billion US dollars assets outside Pakistan, which the Broadsheet could have recovered if NAB had not cancelled the Broadsheet Agreement between Pakistan and Broadsheet.
The August 2010 affidavit: “I know without doubt that the primary target of Broadsheet was former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, members of his family, and upwards of nearly 100 associates, who came from some of Pakistan’s wealthiest families. I recall that the ill-begotten assets of Sharif and his family members and associates were minimally put at one billion US dollars. I cannot precisely remember that estimated value of the assets of the other Sharif related targets but since they were amongst Pakistan’s wealthiest families, I would conservatively believe that they added substantially to the asset value of the Sharif group. With respect to only these Sharif targets, then, I imagine that if Broadsheet had been allowed to continue its work and be successful, its entitlement would have been very substantial.”
He further added: “I know that the vast illicitly obtained wealth of this group not only resulted from, among other schemes, kickbacks from various public construction contracts, skimming of the top and overcharging on imports but also from huge loan defaults from state banks. We all knew that the bulk of funds were hidden overseas and that the uncovering of those accounts and investments, held in nominee and alter ego names would take considerable time to locate and seize.”
Exactly five years later before Sir Anthony Evans, the former NAB prosecutor general retracted his claims and told the Arbitration judge that the figures he quoted, in his capacity as the former NAB PG and Broadsheet witness, for Nawaz Sharif, his family and associates in his affidavit were speculative and without any proof.
In the affidavit, dated 17 July 2015, Farouk Adam Khan told the court: “In the 2010 affidavit I have made references to Mian Nawaz Sharif, such references are either speculative or based on rumour and gossip. I had no direct knowledge of these transactions.”
Farouk Adam Khan also requested the court that his 2015 affidavit should replace his prior affidavit of 2010. The former senior NAB official said that his health was in a bad state in 2010 when he submitted his first affidavit but “I am in much better health now than in 2010”.
Farouk Adam Khan reiterated the most substance of what he had said in 2010 but wanted to make his position clear on the parts that were “unclear or speculative” related to Admiral Mansurul Haq and Nawaz Sharif. He further told the court that he had no direct knowledge of settlement with Admiral Mansurul Haq.
In his final affidavit, Khan confirmed that he helped General Amjad to travel to Colorado USA in April 2000 to meet officials of the Trouvons – which later changed to Broadsheet LLC to hide a legal issue.
However, Farouk Adam Khan said the responsibility to sign the contract lied with the then NAB chairman. He said: “General Amjad reported that he was satisfied with the results of his trip and that he thought the representatives of Trouvons, whom he had met, appeared to have the necessary capability to help the NAB with its mission to find assets of billions.”
In March, Farouk Adam Khan travelled to Geneva and London and met UK Home Office officials, Pakistan High Commission diplomats and Dr William Pepper, the lawyer representing Trouvons. Afterwards he held a series of meetings with Tariq Fawad Malik and Dr Pepper in which they negotiated and finalised every cause of the agreement.
Farouk Adam Khan said that Dr Pepper “insisted that if the NAB were to either breach or terminate the agreement his clients must nevertheless retain the right to continue to pursue targets already registered under the agreement” and initially “General Amjad was reluctant but allowed its inclusion in the agreement”.
The former NAB PG said the Broadsheet draft agreement was sent to the Attorney General, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights Ministry and the Finance Minister of Pakistan for approval. Once the draft was agreed by both sides, General Amjad then formed a committee of senior NAB officials to review its terms”.
There followed a series of meetings in which General Amjad, Farouk Khan, Dr Pepper, Tariq Malik and Ghazanfar Ali talked to the committee through the agreement and explained the meaning and purpose of its terms to them.
On 19 June 2000, Farouk Adam Khan received a letter from Ghulam Rasool, joint secretary of the Ministry, authorising General Amjad to sign and execute the agreement on 20th June 2020.
General Amjad has said in his affidavit that the contract was not approved by the ministries of Law and Finance and that he “perhaps” trusted Farouk Adam too much.
As a way of clarification, General Amjad had said in his affidavit that Farouk Adam Khan didn’t get approval from the Law and Finance ministries but the affidavit of Farouk Khan carried the authority letter from Ghulam Rasool clearly authorising the agreement.
Farouk Adam Khan confirmed that after leaving NAB, he started working for Broadsheet from January 2001 onwards as a consultant by giving them advice regarding its dealing with the NAB on an ad hoc basis.
In his 2010 affidavit, Khan told the court that “Broadsheet agreement breach was handed down probably by General Musharraf himself for whatever political or personal reason he had”. He said there was no legally defensible justification for NAB and the Pakistan government to terminate the agreement.
He also told the court he believed that General Amjad resigned from NAB over Pervez Musharraf’s political interference. General Amjad differed with Farouk Adam Khan and told the court that he learnt later on that Khan’s son secretly worked for a partner of Broadsheet. Farouk Adam Khan died in December 2018. He was suffering from several cardiac issues for a long time.
Originally published in