Friday 24 January 2020
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The News - 2 month ago

UK-Malik Riaz agreement: Settlement reached in civil, not criminal, case, says PM aide

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar Thursday said the money recovered from Malik Riaz would be taken from the Supreme Court and handed over to the state. Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad along with Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, he said the government was thankful to the UK government and the NCA for expediting investigation and returning the money to Pakistan. However, Shahzad Akbar contended that because the case involved the government of another country, he was bound to confidentiality and could not comment on the details.He maintained that the government encouraged agreements in civil cases and did not wish to keep people in jail while referring to the recent pounds 190 million settlement between the United Kingdom s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the family of Malik Riaz.He pointed out that this was the first time in Pakistan s history that money had been repatriated from another country through the legal process. It is important to note that the settlement was reached in a civil case not a criminal case, he made it clear.Meanwhile, Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz Thursday said he was innocent of any financial wrongdoing, claiming that the National Crime Agency (NCA) had been conducting an inquiry for the past one year but did not find him guilty.He was speaking to the media while inaugurating a Bahria Town office in Peshawar.Malik Riaz said his children were overseas Pakistanis and British citizens. He said only a settlement had been conducted on a civil matter. The NCA says we didn t commit any crime. The money should be brought back to Pakistan and others like me should also bring their wealth to the country, he said.During the media talk, he also spoke about the Bahria Town s settlement with the Supreme Court according to which the company was supposed to pay Rs460 billion for the land that it occupies in the Malir district. We have an understanding with the Supreme Court. We will pay back the money even if I have to sell my house, he said.Riaz said he had agreed to anything with the Government of Pakistan. As per the settlement with the court, this money will be given to Pakistan, he said.Regarding the NCA, Riaz was referring to an out-of-court 190m settlement between him and the agency. The settlement also included a property worth 50 million. It originated as a result of an investigation into Malik Riaz by the UK agency. In August 2019 eight account freezing orders were secured at Westminster Magistrates Court in connection with funds totaling around 120 million. These followed an earlier freezing order in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for 20 million. All of the account freezing orders relate to money held in the UK bank accounts, read a statement from the NCA. The UK crime agency had said that all assets would be returned to the state of Pakistan.


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