Islamabad, Jan 27: The arbitration award against Pakistan was substantially reduced from approximately US$550 million claim of Broadsheet to US$21 Million after the witness statement of Tariq Fawad Malik on behalf of Government of Pakistan (GoP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) dented the claims of offshore shell company, sources revealed.
Interestingly, Tariq Fawad Malik was called upon as a witness by Pakistan and NAB in Quantum hearings only after they lost the initial arbitration case against Broadsheet.
A three-member ministerial committee has recommended to investigate the manner in which arbitration proceedings were pursued by the government lawyers in addition to identifying factors due to which Pakistan lost the legal battle against Broadsheet in London.
The testimony of Tariq Fawad Malik becomes important and raises a question as to why NAB did not include him as an initial witness and why the NAB lawyers in UK included him in their list of witnesses later at the stage of quantum hearing of the award.
Perusal of documents reveal that the main testimony against Broadsheet LLC was by Tariq Fawad Malik, a Broadsheet employee, who was not cross examined by Broadsheet lawyers for his damning statement against the asset recovery firm.
“The respondents relied on two witnesses, first Tariq Fawad Malik whose Witness Statement was admitted in evidence without cross-examination, and second, Talat Ghumman who was cross examined,” Anthony Evans wrote in the arbitration award decision.
Government of Pakistan and NAB were respondents in the Arbitration proceedings brought by the claimant Broadsheet LLC.
A lawyer said that the mere fact that Broadsheet lawyers did not cross examine Tariq Fawad Malik as a strategy was the fear that he would further damage their claim as his witness statement substantially strengthened the case of Pakistan.
“Mr. Malik is an independent businessman who was engaged by Broadsheet as its consultant or representative in Pakistan. He said he was doubtful even in 2000 whether Broadsheet could carry out its obligations under the ARA when so many targets were registered under it, and that in 2003 Mr. James appeared to have lost interest in it and for a time he, Mr. Malik, had to pay the local staff; but he added “(though Mr. James later repaid me.),” wrote Sir Anthony Evans in the arbitration award.
Sir Anthony Evans QC mentions in the arbitration proceedings that Broadsheet did not call Tariq Fawad Malik as a witness because it would have drawn negative inferences against the Claimant i.e. Broadsheet LLC.
In para 10 of his damning witness statement, Tariq Fawad Malik exposed the lack of capabilities of Broadsheet to find the stolen assets as well as the company’s efforts to hoodwink Pakistan.
Para 10 of the statement reads: “My emails to Broadsheet from that time, in particular at the beginning of the ARA, show that I was frustrated with Broadsheet’s efforts under the ARA and was concerned that it had overestimated to NAB its capabilities. For example, I wrote to Mr. Ali in July 2000 sharing my concerns that “we probably made a terrible mistake of over rating the capability of our principals both financially and commercially” and “strongly recommend[ed) we do not proceed any further and should look for an amicable exit front this rollercoaster.” The next month, I wrote to Mr. James saying “our’’ inaction is of a very serious concern to the people involved”. In April 2001, I wrote to Mr. James again to explain my concerns that Broadsheet was not complying with its obligation to provide full disclosure to the Chairman NAB of our findings and that there “may be some truth” in what other believed that Broadsheet “have done no work and are hoodwinking GOP, waiting to collect on the efforts of GOP.”
The witness statement by Tariq Fawad Malik also challenged the claims of Broadsheet about its role in recovery from Admiral Mansoor-ul-Haque and lack of interest in pursuing the assigned targets.
Sources close to Tariq Fawad Malik said it appears strange that some people started a malicious campaign against his person though his is the only statement on record with facts which favored Pakistan.
Were those maligning Tariq Fawad Malik acting on behalf of Broadsheet is a million-dollar question!
Following is the complete text of the Witness Statement of Tariq Fawad Malik and readers can draw their own conclusions:
1, TARIQ FAWAD MALIK, resident of XXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, say as follows:
I am a businessman by occupation and am currently a partner in real estate development companies based in and with projects in the Middle East (Dubai), Africa and Europe and in a construction company and business consultancy company based in Dubai. I was Broadsheet’s consultant acting as in-country representative in Pakistan during the term of the ARA, from 2000-2003. I am making this statement to set out my knowledge as to Broadsheet’s performance and operations during the term of the ARA and the circumstances around its termination, insofar as they relate to the question of whether Broadsheet would have made further recoveries from registered targets had the ARA not terminated in October 2003.
2. The facts set out in this statement are based on my own personal knowledge or on documents in my possession or now shown to me. They are true, based on my recollection of events from 15-18 years ago, and to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
3. I am a Pakistani national and after graduation from the Pakistan Air Force Academy in 1987, I served in the Air Force as a commissioned officer until 1993. I then went into the private sector and was trained in business, accounting and finance at a chartered accounting firm for two years.
Thereafter, I managed a real estate development company in Pakistan as a managing director, an independent power producing company in Pakistan as CEO and consultancy company Gulf South Asia Investments (Bahamas) Limited (a business advisory and consultancy company) as independent consultant from around 1995 and as a director from around 1998 until 2005, before and while working for Broadsheet LLC. I did not have asset recovery experience before working for Broadsheet.
4. I was introduced to Dr William Pepper, attorney and then-representative of Trouvons LLC, which later became Broadsheet, in around 1993-1999 by Mr Ghazanfar Sadiq Ali, who I met at Gulf South Asia Investments where he was the managing director. Mr Ali asked me to be the local consultant for Trouvons LLC, and to assist in business development and facilitating meetings for gentlemen from the United States (Mr Ronald Rudman, Dr William Pepper and Mr Jerry James) with State entities in Pakistan, including the Ehtesab Bureau, in 1998 onwards.
5. Following a change in government, in 1999 the Ehtesab Bureau became the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Trouvons also became Broadsheet. There were negotiations between NAB and Broadsheet to enter into the Asset Recovery Agreement (ARA), led by the Chairman NAB, Prosecutor General (for NAB), and Dr Pepper (for Broadsheet). I was not involved in the negotiations, it was largely Mr Rudman and Dr Pepper from Broadsheet’s side.
My role at Broadsheet
6. Once the ARA was up and running in mid-2000, my role was largely that of a ‘post office’ to get information between Broadsheet and NAB. At the outset Broadsheet had a full-time staff of three to four people (none of whom had asset tracing or investigatory experience) sat in offices within NAB, tasked with collecting information from NAB and sending it back to Broadsheet (although as I explain below, this number had significantly reduced by mid-2003). I assisted these individuals, attended high level meetings with NAB and dealt with issues of particular sensitivity, for example, NAB and Broadsheet asked me from time to time to get involved with targets of particular seniority, for example Admiral Mansoor-Ul-Haq.
7. Broadsheet’s staff were administered by a head office in Denver, and I managed its local affairs. My understanding was that most of Broadsheet’s work would be done outside of Pakistan, as NAB was considered competent to complete the work inside Pakistan.
8. There was a consultancy agreement in place between me and Broadsheet.’ I reported on what was happening in NAB and Pakistan, usually to Mr James (who was the key individual behind Broadsheet) on the phone, but also to other members such as Mr Tisdale, Broadsheet’s counsel. My role with Broadsheet took up around 50% of my time. Broadsheet’s performance during the period of operation of the ARA
9. While the ARA was in operation, my view is that Broadsheet had taken on far more than it could perform, in that it registered far more targets than it could actually investigate. Because Broadsheet understood that the ARA entitled it to recover a share in settlements with registered targets, even when it had not contributed to that settlement in any way, there was a focus at Broadsheet in trying to register as many targets as possible, rather than just concentrating on targets where it thought it may assist in recovery. As I explain below, this put me in a difficult position with the NAB as I believed we were not receiving enough information and support from Broadsheet to show that it was putting any serious effort into tracing assets worldwide.
10. My emails to Broadsheet from that time, in particular at the beginning of the ARA, show that I was frustrated with Broadsheet’s efforts under the ARA and was concerned that it had overestimated to NAB its capabilities. For example, I wrote to Mr Ali in July 2000 sharing my concerns that “we probably made a terrible mistake of over rating the capability of our principals both financially and commercially” and “strongly recommend[ed) we do not proceed any further and should look for an amicable exit front this rollercoaster.” The next month, I wrote to Mr James saying “our ‘inaction is of a very serious concern to the people involved”. In April 2001, I wrote to Mr James again to explain my concerns that Broadsheet was not complying with its obligation to provide full disclosure to the Chairman NAB of our findings and that there “may be some truth” in what other believed that Broadsheet “have done no work and are hoodwinking GOP, waiting to collect on the efforts of GOP.”
11. NAB became frustrated early on in the ARA’s term by Broadsheet’s failure to investigate all the targets that it had registered.
12. I have read Mr Tisdale’s third witness statement and his claim that the reason for success with the one target outside Pakistan that a settlement was reached with, Admiral Ul-Haq. I do not agree that this recovery was largely due to his contacts within the US DOJ. Mr Tisdale’s approaches to the US DOJ were made on behalf of Pakistan (for example, the RLA was signed by the Chairman NAB), and the Pakistan-US relationship was strong, with both States willing to assist one another with requests for mutual legal assistance. With regard to other targets, had the ARA continued beyond October 2003, I am very doubtful that Broadsheet would have enjoyed collaborative relationships to the same level with other jurisdictions (as Mr Tisdale says),’ with which (unlike the US), Pakistan did not have a special relationship for providing mutual legal assistance with, or an extradition treaty in place.
13. The recovery from Admiral UI-Haq was the only payment received by Broadsheet under the ARA. Broadsheet was paid US$I.5m between January and July 2002. Despite receiving this injection of cash, I do not recall there being any significant increase in the amount of investment into Broadsheet at this time. I have been shown a copy of an account statement for Broadsheet from 2001-2005 This suggests that a significant amount of the money received from the Ul-Haq payment was simply paid out to Steeplechase (Mr James’ company) and Mr Tisdale rather than invested back into Broadsheet. Broadsheet’s loss of interest in performing in the second half of 2003
14. By mid-2003, it was clear that the ARA was not working for either party. Sometime before the ARA terminated, Mr James had lost interest in the ARA and did not appear to be willing to invest time or money in Broadsheet any more. I recall that during this period I could not get hold of Mr James or anyone else from Broadsheet they simply would not return my calls or emails. Mr James also stopped funding Broadsheet’s operations in Pakistan during these months and stopped paying me. In the final year of operation of the ARA, the number of local staff thinned out and by summer 2003 there were only a few secretarial staff remaining in Pakistan. Mr James had also stopped paying them and I had to settle the staff salaries out of my own funds (although Mr James later repaid me). I do not believe that this situation would have changed had the ARA continued beyond October 2003.
15. My impression was that Mr James had lost interest in Broadsheet at least partly because his focus had moved on to other projects. For example, one project that Mr James was spending a considerable amount of time on from mid-2003 onwards was creating and licensing an international private bank in Colorado, called American International Depository & Trust (AIDT). I was helping Mr James to try and register a branch of AIDT in the Dubai International Financial Centre and also later invested in AIIDT myself. Subsequently, AIDT went into liquidation causing Mr James significant losses. I was aware that Mr James had plenty of other interests and projects in which he was spending time and resources. However, ultimately Mr James got into severe financial difficulties.
16. I have seen Mr Tisdale’s statement that Broadsheet’s partnership with the GOP and NAB failed because of reasons including “ever-changing political winds, internal pride and refusal to accept the assistance of a Western firm and debates about whether Broadsheet was entitled to receive a share of monies recovered from inside Pakistan”. “Although these reasons may have contributed in a way to the failure of the ARA, It was more due to Broadsheet’s failure to adjust to the challenges in working for a State client, its focus on registering, rather than investigating targets, its business model of trying to initially earn money from NAB before investing funds into investigations of registered targets and Broadsheet’s lack of investment more generally. I also disagree that “NAB refused to provide Broadsheet with even the minimum cooperation required for Broadsheet to successfully recover assets.” “I did not get the impression that NAB was purposefully sitting on or withholding information.
Statement of Truth
I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.
Tariq Fawad Malik
Date: 3 May 2018.