Court extends interim bail of PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza in money laundering case

LAHORE – A special court on Saturday extended the interim bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others in a case, registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against them for alleged money laundering.

Special Judge Central Ijaz Awan conducted the case proceedings, wherein Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others appeared and got their attendance marked.

Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, counsel of Hamza Shehbaz, submitted that the FIA had investigated the matter for one-and-a-half years but failed to bring any evidence on record.

He claimed that the worst political engineering was done in the past era, whereas the Lahore High Court had also declared the political engineering a reality. He submitted that it had been stated about Mushtaq Cheeni that he joined the investigation, but he was neither made a witness nor accused.  The agency carried out investigations from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz while they were in jail. At this stage, the court questioned whether the agency required the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz.

To which, the FIA’s counsel argued that the agency required the arrest of both as they did not join the investigations. However, Advocate Amjad Pervaiz argued that the FIA was misleading the court, as both had been part of the investigations. It was an agenda of the past government to keep them in jail, he added.

| FIA’s counsel says agency needs to arrest both PM and CM as they did not join investigations

Court reissues arrest warrants for Salman Shehbaz, Tahir Naqvi, Malik Maqsood

Subsequently, on conclusion of the arguments by Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, the court adjourned the case till June 11, and extended the interim bail of both Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz. It also directed the counsel for co-accused to advance arguments for bail confirmation of their clients on the next date of hearing.  The court again issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Suleman Shehbaz, Tahir Naqvi and Malik Maqsood after the FIA filed a fresh report. It directed the FIA to ensure compliance of the warrants and submit a report on the next date of hearing.

At the outset of the hearing, the FIA’s counsel told the judge that half of the prosecution’s team had been barred from reaching the courtroom by security, at which the relevant SP gave assurances that the FIA members stopped by the security would be allowed into the courtroom.

PM Shehbaz and Hamza’s counsel, Mohammad Amjad Pervaiz, then began his arguments for confirmation of Hamza’s bail, saying that the case had been investigated for one-and-a-half year and yet no evidence was on record. Referring to the PTI’s tenure but without naming the party, he said: “There had been worst political engineering in the previous tenure.

 

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