Guilty unless Proven Innocent
By Khalid,  A.
London ,   UK

 

It is an accepted practice all over the world that any person living beyond his legal and known sources of income or assets, is called upon to explain the disparity between his apparent wealth versus his declared and taxed wealth. Under such circumstances, the burden of the proof of his innocence is upon the individual under investigation. He will be considered guilty unless he can prove otherwise.

Imagine a poor man finds that his 12-year child is wearing an expensive Rolex wristwatch and he accuses his child of wrongdoing. Can the child then challenge his father to prove the charge and can he claim that he is innocent unless proven guilty? It is simple commonsense that it is the child who must prove his innocence, by explaining how he came into possession of the Rolex.

 The same argument applies in the NRO corruption cases.  It is wrong to say that NAB has not been able to prove the guilt of the accused. Rather, the accused have failed to provide justifiable evidence of income to match with their assets. Our corrupt politicians, businessmen and government officers are gleefully advancing the silly argument that the prosecution has failed to prove their guilt: They are no amateurs - rather they are professionals in this game of sleaze and crime. They leave no fingerprints behind and they can also bribe the prosecutors.

It is time they were told in no uncertain terms that they would be considered guilty unless they come up with year-by-year tax returns and detailed accounts, to match with their wealth and their standard of living. The ball is in their court.

It is relevant to mention that the notorious Chicago Mafia godfather Al-Capone was not convicted of any of his gruesome crimes of murders, robberies and gang warfare but was jailed in 1931 for evading taxes and that ended his criminal career. Let us follow the same example.

 


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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