Pakistani woman abused by a UK civil servant in mortgage case inquiry

DailyTimes  |  Dec 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD/LONDON: In the UK’s biggest mortgage fraud probe, a Senior UK civil servant working for Serious Fraud Office (SFO) made a British Pakistani woman a target of verbal abuse, and also insulted another ethnic female lawyer calling her a “dog”.The senior civil servant Jonathan Francis McGarry a lead lawyer within the Proceeds of Crime and International Assistance Department at the SFO, called the Pakistani woman named Shabana Kausar a “gangster’s moll” in prescence of the witnesses in court.McGarry’s attack at Shabana Kausar, the ex-wife of British Pakistani businessman Nisar Afzal, was without any provocation.After 15 years of investigation, Serious Fraud Office has now dropped the criminal fraud investigation into Nisar Afzal. At the request of the SFO, restraining orders and arrest warrant were cancelled through the Southwark Crown Court against Nisar Afzal who left for Pakistan in 2006 denying any wrongdoing.According to papers, Shabana Kausar’s lawyers at Imran Khan and Partners made a formal complaint to the SFO against the civil servant. The SFO investigated and found that McGarry was actually involved in the abuse. The SFO disciplined Mr McGarry and sepearted him from the case file of Afzal family members but the lawyer then quietly returned to the case.Legal papers show that Jonathan Francis McGarry referred to Shabana Kausar as a “gangster’s moll” at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 28 February 2020 in the course of post hearing discussions held with the counsel Christopher Convey and Jayne Edwards, the Principal Financial Investigator in the case.Shabana Kausar’s lawyer at Imran Khan and Partnerships wrote that the extremely offensive comment was “unwarranted, unprofessional and highly offensive, particularly as it came from a member of the prosecution agency” targeting a female who has suffered violence.Imran Khan and Partners also reported in the same complaint to SFO that Jonathan Francis McGarry attacked another professional woman related to the same case. On 20 October, McGarry sent email to Ghislaine Sandoval, a trainee solicitor, saying: “At least Ghislaine has got a training contract now and isn’t merely a dogs body.”The complaint to SFO said the attack from Mr McGarry was a “serious breach of the SRA principles 2 and 5” as solicitors must “act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the profession and in legal integrity. We don’t know why MG chose to compare a female trainee solicitor of this firm to a dog”.The lawyer questioned that irrespective of Mr McGarry’s motives and the professional and disciplinary matters his conduct arises, his behaviour also gave rise to a serious concern as to how this matter was being prosecuted.The lawyers complained to SFO on 26 august 2020 that Mr McGarry wrote to Southwark Crown Court accusing Shabana Kausar’s son Akash Afzal of attempting to sell a property known as Turtle Creek, Florida, USA, in breach of the court orders. The lawyers told SFO that he had misled the court because both the US Department of Justice and lawyer of Akash refuted the allegation as false.The lawyers told SFO they were making complaint after a number of incidents over a period of time led to concerns regarding Mr McGarry’s professionalism and his regard to the Rules of Conduct in prosecuting the case against Nisar Afzal, Saghir Agzal and their family members.The legal papers state that on 29 January 2021, the SFO confirmed in writing it’s investigation upheld two complaints in relation to Shabana Kausar and Ghislaine in that the comments were made and were inappropriate.The SFO said that “as a result we have taken the action” and Mr McGarry “is to have no further direct contact with you or your colleagues”. The SFO told lawyers it had encouraged Mr McGarry to apologise but neither any apology was given nor Mr Mcgarry stayed away from the case after his attack on two women.Official papers show that Jonathan Francis McGarry is running the case against although SFO had taken him off the case over complaints by the Afzal family.

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