Pakistan to pay $28.7m in damages to US firm

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal cabinet on Friday approved a payment of $28.7 million in damages to a US-based asset recovery firm called Broadsheet LLC, but will be challenging a UK court order to debit millions from the account of the Pakistan high commission in London, local media has reported.

Broadsheet was hired by Pakistan’s corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), during former President Pervez Musharraf’s tenure in 2000, to investigate the hidden assets of over 150 Pakistanis living abroad including the family of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. 

PHC building

The agreement was terminated by the NAB in 2003, after which Broadsheet filed a claim against Pakistan worth millions of dollars in damages. 

Last year, Broadsheet filed a claim with the London High Court to enforce the payment of the outstanding $22 million owed to the firm by NAB. Broadsheet had also asked that an interest of $4,758 per day be applied, Dawn newspaper reported.

On Dec.17, a UK court ordered the debiting of $28.7 million from the accounts of the Pakistani High Commission in London. The diplomatic mission missed the Dec.22 deadline to challenge it.

The deadline for the payment of the penalty owed to the firm was December 31.

Local media said the cabinet approval was granted after the office of the attorney general and Pakistan’s law ministry advised the government to let the NAB clear the award, and simultaneously, to challenge the UK court’s decision to debit the money from the diplomatic mission’s account.