Pakistan

Court extends pre arrest bail of Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz in money laundering case


A special court (offences in bank) extended till October 20, the pre-arrest bail of former chief minister, Punjab and now PML-N  opposition leader in national assembly and his son Hamza Shahbaz who are accused in the money laundering and sugar scam. 

The federal investigation agency (FIA) challenged the jurisdiction of special court to hear bail petitions of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz. The special prosecutor Moazzam Habib claimed that the matter fell within the jurisdiction of the special judge central as the FIR was registered by the anti-corruption wing of the agency.

Judge sought arguments in detail from the prosecutor and the counsel of the both opposition leaders on the jurisdiction of the court till the next date of hearing.

The prosecutor alleged that factious bank accounts had been discovered in the name of low-wage employees of Ramzan Sugar Mills, owned by the Shehbaz’s family. He submitted that a suspected banking transaction of Rs27 billion had been found in an account operated in Karachi with 13 fictitious names.

Shehbaz’s counsel in reply said that the FIA was misleading the court as the details narrated by it had no link with two Sharifs. He pointed out that the FIA had lodged a case on fabricated allegations, which were already a subject matter of a reference of the NAB.

During the hearing a number of PML-N workers also gathered outside the court to express solidarity with the party leaders. They were holding placards and banners and also chanted slogans against the government and in favour of the opposition leaders.

The FIA had booked Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 – financial fraud, impersonation and forgery – of the PPC and 5(2) and 5(3) – criminal misconduct – of Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman Shehbaz is absconding in the UK.

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