Pakistan

Shehbaz, Hamza case takes new turn amid newly introduced NAB ordinance; LHC seeks arguments

An accountability court sought arguments on the effect of the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 on the ongoing trial of the references against former chief minister, Punjab and now PML-N  opposition leader in national assembly and his son Hamza Shahbaz an opposition leader in Punjab Assembly who are accused in the money laundering and Ramzan Sugar Mills scam. 

During the hearing of references, both perpetrators Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the court. Shehbaz informed the court that he was scheduled to leave for Islamabad to attend the NA session.

Accountability court allowed the accused to leave after the process of their attendance was completed in the references of money laundering and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

A NAB prosecutor informed the court that prosecution witnesses were present before the court and their evidence should be recorded.

Shahbaz’s counsel in reply pleaded that the process of the evidence recording could not be held after the introduction of recent amendments in the NAB law.

The prosecutor submitted that this ordinance would not have any effect on the ongoing trial of both the accused. He pointed out that the life of the ordinance was six months and the court should resume the trial.

Accountability court postponed the further hearing till November 5 and sought detailed arguments from both sides on the effect of the amended ordinance on the pending trials.

In the money laundering reference, the NAB alleged that the family members and benamidars of Shehbaz received fake foreign remittances of billions in their personal bank accounts. In addition to these remittances, the bureau said, billions of rupees were laundered by way of foreign pay orders, which were deposited in personal bank accounts of his sons Hamza and Suleman.

In reference to Ramzan Sugar Mills, the NAB alleged that Shehbaz, being the chief minister of Punjab, issued a directive for the construction of a drain in district Chiniot mainly for the use of the sugar mills owned by his sons. It said Rs200 million was spent for this purpose from the public money.

Ends/

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