Friday, April 22, 2016

Pakistan's military courts: the Panama Papers connection?

Here's one The Editor could not have imagined: a member of the Pakistan Senate has suggested that those implicated in offshore investment shenanigans as a result of the leaked Panama Papers be prosecuted in military courts. Details here.
PPP Senator Dr Babar Awan has suggested investigation against the people named in the Panama Papers through military courts, arguing that offshore investments were usually used in drugs which had a close nexus with terrorism.

“Investment in offshore tax havens is an international fraud that comes under the definition of facilitator,” Dr Awan said while talking to reporters at the Supreme Court building here on Thursday.
The 21st Amendment to the Constitution, passed in January 2015, permits the trial of civilians in military courts. The amendment expires in less than nine months -- unless it is extended. Since it took effect a number of suggestions have been floated for the use of these courts for types of prosecutions having precious little or nothing to do with terrorism. Sen. Awan's is only the most recent example. So far as we know from a distance, no steps have been taken to correct the deficiencies in the civilian criminal courts that led to passage of the 21st Amendment.

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