LONDON: The three people who Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi claims acted on behalf of the Pakistani government on a possible new assets recovery deal for Pakistan, have accused Moussavi himself of lying, making wilful misrepresentations and offering a cut of US$2 million in exchange for getting around US$29 million from Prime Minister Imran Khan for Broadsheet — the amount that Pakistan owed to the assets recovery firm.
The News has seen a legal paper in which three people — Barrister Zafar Ali QC; Dr. Kersten Pucks, Management Consultant; and Shahid Iqbal, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England Wales; categorically reject the allegations made against them. The 13-page document has been prepared by Moussavi’s lawyers at Cromwell and Moring LLP, and published widely on media.
The legal paper says that Dr Pucks is so incensed about Moussavi’s allegations that he has indicated his intention to bring legal action against the Broadsheet CEO.
The legal paper contains a copy of several messages between Moussavi and Zafar Ali QC.
This 13-page “2019 Moussavi document” revealed that a delegation from the UK met PM Imran Khan and his cabinet members to discuss a proposal to recover stolen assets kept abroad.
Last week, after Broadsheet won a nearly US$65 million case from Pakistan, the contents of the “Moussavi document” sent shockwaves across the Pakistani media.
In their legal paper titled “Declaration of Facts”, the trio claims that until the end of December 2018, Moussavi repeatedly made offers of money to Zafar Ali QC to approach the Pakistan government and persuade them to pay Broadsheet, but Zafar Ali rejected the offers and repeatedly stated in no uncertain terms that he had not been instructed by Pakistan.
Zafar Ali QC, Dr Pucks and Shahid Iqbal reject the “Moussavi document” as making misrepresentations and omitting significant messages from Moussavi and, pertinently, Zafar Ali’s responses to them.
The legal paper confirms that Zafar Ali QC had been approached by the incoming Imran Khan administration to discuss options for a new recovery programme. Subsequently, Zafar Ali QC and Dr Kersten Pucks drafted an asset recovery proposal to recover “the largest amount of stolen funds by basing the asset recovery programme outside Pakistan to separate it from the political process, so that no individual would be exempt from investigation”.
Zafar Ali and Shahid Iqbal visited Pakistan on the invitation of media personality and businessman Mohsin Beg and met PM Khan, Asad Umar, Shahzad Iqbal, the Attorney General, and the Law Minister to discuss their proposal.
The document claims that at the meeting, Imran Khan made it clear he wanted to pursue recovery of all stolen money, regardless of political affiliation. The document stated that “there were no meetings at which Mr. Ali put the proposal forward to a member of the intelligence services or armed forces”.
According to the Declaration of Facts, Ali and Dr Pucks wanted to access the “vast amount of relevant information on stolen assets that Moussavi claimed to possess and actively encouraged [him] to share such information”.
The legal paper alleges that during their meetings with Moussavi, it became apparent that Moussavi’s primary interest in indulging them was “his hope to connect it to his long-standing pursuit of recovering billions of dollars in claims against the Pakistani government for his company, Broadsheet”.
The legal paper also says: “Mr Ali and Dr Pucks soon began to have concerns that the information and skills Mr Moussavi claimed to have were exaggerated. In addition, some of Mr Moussavi’s claims became increasingly exaggerated and difficult to believe. He talked about having sold part of his Broadsheet interest to a hedge funds for billions of dollars and bragged about his ability to ground Pakistani aircraft if the Broadsheet debt was not settled within a week. Mr. Ali and Dr. Pucks became increasingly concerned and uncomfortable about such claims and a result of these growing concerns, Mr. Ali and Dr. Pucks stopped engaging with Mr. Moussavi towards the end of 2018. The proposal was not accepted by the Pakistan government and the matter went no further.”
The central complaint of the three against Mr Moussavi is the claim in his 2019 paper that Mr Ali acted on behalf of the Pakistan government to settle his historic Broadsheet claims. They categorically state that they had repeatedly stressed Mr Ali did not represent Pakistan in any way; that they themselves were pitching a mandate from the Pakistani government to recover assets; that they had not been awarded such mandate; and they were not in a position to even discuss Broadsheet issues with the Pakistani authorities; and they stress that there are multiple witnesses for their position.
Correspondence between Ali and Moussavi
Here below are some messages between Ali and Moussavi:
Kaveh Moussavi to Zafar Ali on 3 March 2018: “My award will be over a billion. If you settle it at that level, I will turn over 100 million dollars to you to set up the operation or do whatever it is they want done to fight corruption.”
Kaveh Moussavi to Zafar Ali on 24 December 2018: “You could make some quick retirement money out of this situation.”
Kaveh Moussavi to Zafar Ali on 25 December 2018: “I can get you two million dollars immediately if you show NAB that they can overcome the jeopardy they are facing with the continuing saga and get them to ask their lawyers to vacate the hearing on the 31st and instead come into a consented settlement at $50 million before 31st. You and I can then go forward with both the Sharif bank account in Singapore and South Africa and Mexico.”
Zafar Ali’s response to Kaveh Moussavi on 25 December 2018: “I have not been formally instructed Kaveh, the Pakistanis (as you know) are notoriously slow in everything they do. If, and indeed when I am instructed (and depending on in which capacity) then I can address the matters you raise.”
Kaveh Moussavi to Zafar Ali QC on 27 December 2018:
“There is two million dollars in this for you. Put your thinking cap on.”
“And we will certainly let the press know that the Chairman is engaged in high treason when he shows no interest in the Sharif money in the bank accounts that I have given you. Put your thinking cap on and you can retire.”
“Zafar, someone is going to ask the question very shortly: ‘Chairman, isn’t it the case you were offered the details of Sharif accounts in Singapore and did not jump on it? Why not?'”
Zafar Ali to Kaveh Moussavi on 28 December 2018: “I am sure someone will. In the meantime, I am in Dubai on an actual case. The Pak Govt have not instructed me yet, and may not ever. It is difficult to understand what they do and why they do it frankly. Until and only if I am instructed am I doing to do anything? I have got to focus on my actual cases.”
Kaveh Moussavi responds: “Be an entrepreneur Zafar. Opportunities like this don’t knock on your door everyday. And if you become ‘instructed’ I would be able to pay you! Try to leave this ‘instruction’ BS (‘bullshit’) behind and move into the world where real money is made. Or have you given up on that? Your actual cases aren’t going to get you retirement this year.”
Message from Kaveh Moussavi on 3 August 2018: “My award will be over a billion…otherwise I will be seizing aircraft, etc., and it will be an embarrassing start to this (Imran Khan’s) government.”
The News has already printed the text messages contained in the “Moussavi document” in the May 12, 2019 edition under the headline “Pakistan talked with Broadsheet to hire it again?”