Special Court confirms pre-arrest bail of PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza
LAHORE – The Special Court in Lahore on Saturday confirmed the bail of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz in the money laundering case registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against them.
Announcing the verdict, which was reserved earlier in the morning, the court confirmed the bail against the surety bond of one million rupees each.
The court also ordered the co-accused for furnishing surety bonds of Rs 200,000 each within seven days for the purpose. Special Judge Central Ijaz Hassan Awan announced the decision on pre-arrest bail petitions, filed by PM Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz and others.
During the proceedings, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and others appeared before the court and got their attendance marked.
FIA Prosecutor Farooq Bajwa submitted a report about arrest warrants of Suleman Shehbaz, Malik Maqsood, and Tahir Naqvi. He submitted that the accused were not available at their given addresses.
The court observed that media had broadcast news about death of accused Malik Maqsood. Whether the news was correct, it questioned.
To which, the prosecutor replied that a letter had been written to Interpol for confirmation of the death. He submitted that after receiving Interpol reply, the court would be informed.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif came to the rostrum and sought permission for briefing the court about the case facts. He submitted that the FIA officials twice visited him in jail and he verbally briefed them about all facts. He submitted that all cases against him were decided on merit and he was cleared.
Entire case is fabricated and a pack of lies, PM tells court
Shehbaz Sharif submitted that serious allegations were levelled against him and he attended dozens of proceedings. He submitted that it appeared that the FIA filed the challan with delay as it wanted to arrest him. Shehbaz Sharif submitted that he was neither director nor owner or shareholder of the sugar mill.
He submitted that as a result of his actions, sugar mills of his family suffered losses. He submitted that he preferred the common people over his own family members and saved billions of rupees of the nation.
He submitted that had he been interested in money-making or laundering, he would have not caused losses to the sugar mills of his family. He said the entire case was fabricated and a pack of lies.
Advocate Amjad Pervaiz argued that it was sufficient for bail of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz that they were investigated by the FIA officials in jail. He submitted that the FIA failed to produce any evidence which could connect his clients to the accounts in question.
However, the FIA prosecutor opposed the pleas and advanced arguments in this regard. The counsel for co-accused also submitted their arguments in writing. Subsequently, the court reserved verdict on pre-arrest bail pleas of Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and others.
Later, after a few hours, the court announced its verdict and confirmed interim bails of prime minister and others.