A Pakistan court on Sunday extended the interim bail of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz till May 26 in connection with Rs 16 billion money-laundering case.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for three others, including Suleman Shahbaz, Tahir Naqvi, and Malik Maqsood stating that the three have been declared absconders by the magistrate court, Geo tv reported.
Special court Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan adjourned the hearing till May 28.
During the hearing, the judge noticed that the police do not adhere to the court directions as he summoned the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and station house officer (SHO), who denied appearing before the court.
As per the Geo tv report, the judge complained that due to the security of PM, others coming to the court had to suffer.
PM Shehbaz in his defense said, “I am appearing before the court in order to maintain its dignity and follow the laws of the country.” He added that he asked his security not to stop anybody from coming to the court.
The counsel of PM Shehbaz, Mohammad Amjad Pervaiz argued in the court that the prosecution team had removed many of the challans which were filed against Shehbaz between 2008 and 2018. Thus the record presented by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is insufficient to prove the charges against Shehbaz, he claimed.
He said that there was no evidence found against his client which proves his connections with sugar mills and that Shehbaz neither has any share in the bank accounts nor a single penny from these 14 accounts were transferred to his account in the last 10 years, Geo tv reported.
The father-son duo reached the special court for a hearing on Saturday, they were accompanied by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah amid tight security around the court.
Earlier, the FIA’s special court had issued an order that it will indict PM Shehbaz and CM Punjab Hamza on May 14. However, it was delayed due to the premier’s foreign tour.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in December 2021 had submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza before the special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs 16 billion in the sugar scam case.
According to the FIA report submitted to the court, the investigation team has “detected 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family through which money laundering of Rs 16.3bn was committed during 2008-18. The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions,” Geo tv reported.
The report added that the amount was kept in “hidden accounts” and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity.
The FIA had booked them in the case under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act in November 2020.