Broadsheet Pays Rs4.5m To Sharif family In London Lawsuit

Muhammad UsmanMultimedia Journalist

24th Feb, 2021. 12:35 am

According to legal evidence, Broadsheet LLC, hired by the Pakistani government to recover money and assets from the Sharif family, ended up paying around Rs4.5 million to the Sharifs in the lawsuit before the London High Court.

In the Broadsheet vs Pakistan National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case, Broadsheet made a payout of £ 20,000 (equivalent to 4.5 million Pakistani Rupees) to the Sharif family for the settlement of the legal expenses of the Sharif family after having withdrawn the Avenfield Apartments attachment application before the English High Court for the seizure and selling of four Avenfield Apartments.

Sharif’s family’s lawyers have confirmed that they have recieved the payment in their bank account. On the other hand, Broadsheet’s lawyers have also confirmed paying the Sharifs.

The Pakistani government hired Broadsheet in 1999 to find and recover assets of Nawaz Sharif, his family members, and other around 170 Pakistanis, however, it could not find any assets of Sharifs or others with the only exception of Admiral Mansoorul Haq. The deal coasted Pakistan over US $65 million.

Broadsheet began the process in the London High Court on 19 June 2020 for the recovery of money granted by two court judgments by the auction of four Avenfield Apartments, according to legal papers available to this reporter.

Broadsheet (an Isle of Man company, in liquidation) obtained arbitration awards from the Court of Arbitration against Pakistan/NAB for breach of contract and damages of approximately $29 million, before starting the attachment process.

The English High Court in late 2019 granted permission to Broadsheet to administer these arbitration awards.

UK High Court normally imposes judgment debts by issuing a Charging Order in which the creditor ‘charges’ assets belonging to the debtor.

Charging orders normally follow a three-stage process: first, the petitioner seeks an Interim Charging Order (ICO) that is issued on an ex parte basis; second, a final charging order is sought that must be contested before the court if the opposite party is challenged; and third, after a party persists in securing a final charging order, a subsequent order is made for the sale of the assets.

Broadsheet requested an order on the ground that, according to the judgment of the Accountability Court in Islamabad in the Avenfield Reference of 6 July 2018, the Government of Pakistan retained beneficial interests in the Avenfield Apartments, convicting former PM Nawaz Sharif in the properties beyond means case.

On 6 July 2020, Broadsheet’s solicitors told Nielsen and Nescoll of the situation. A hearing was listed for 19 October 2020 as the Sharif family decided to contest. The next step will be to request the auction of the apartments on 5 October 2020 if Broadsheet were able to persuade the court to impose a Charging Warrant. It was learned from the High Court that the hearing was most likely postponed to 17 December 2020 at the behest of Broadsheet.

That was the same day when the hearing was held for the payment of the bank accounts of the Pakistani High Commission at United Bank Limited (UBL), which was decided in favor of Broadsheet.

Lawyers for the Sharif family argued that their stance from the start was that the Accountability Court Decision, which has significant legal and factual deficiencies, did not vest any interest in the Avenfield Apartments on well-established English legal standards and that it was thus unlikely to be upheld by the United Kingdom High Court.

Broadsheet withdrew the case on December 2nd, 2020 from the High Court. On the same date, the court made an order discharging the Avenfield Apartments from any future proceedings.

Broadsheet reported that it withdrew the case for the seizure and selling of the Avenfield apartments because it did not want to proceed as it had acquired its judgment debt by a separate Interim Third Party Debt Order, but documents reveal that on 23 June 2020, Broadsheet had received an Interim Third Party Debt Order to suspend the accounts of the High Commission.

An Interim Charging Order is neither final nor binding. Broadsheet, however, managed to convince the court on 17 December 2020 in the hearing to freeze bank accounts of the Pakistani High Commission. Broadsheet did not have the advantage of anything to secure the judgment money at the time when it withdrew its case against the Avenfield Apartments.

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