A senior UK civil servant working for Serious Fraud Office (SFO) insulted a British Pakistani woman and also abused another ethnic female lawyer in the course of UK’s biggest mortgage fraud probe, according to official legal papers.
Jonathan Francis McGarry, a lead lawyer within the Proceeds of Crime and International Assistance Department at the SFO, called British Pakistani Muslim woman Shabana Kausar a ‘gangster’s mol’ in the presence of witnesses in court.
Jonathan Francis McGarry attack Shabana Kausar, the ex-wife of British Pakistani businessman Nisar Afzal, without any provocation.
Serious Fraud Office has now dropped the criminal fraud investigation into Nisar Afzal after 15 years of investigation. 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 the 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 separated him from the case file of Afzal family members but the lawyer then quietly returned to the case.
Lawyers of Shabana Kausar at Imran Khan and Partnerships wrote that the highly 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.