Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz appeared. in a special court in Lahore on Saturday for hearing of 16 billion rupees money laundering case registered against their Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
presiding judge of Special Court (Central-I), Ijaz Hassan Awan, extended their temporary pledge in case until May 28 (today) during the hearing last a week.
When the hearing resumed, the judge indicated out FIA Attorney Farooq Bajwa that the agency’s report on arrest of Shehbaza sonSuleman Shehbaz and other suspects gave conflicting testimonies.
“On the one hand, report says that D-41, Model Town, is not an address. On the other hand, this also says the suspect Suleman Shehbaz is abroad,” he said. Bajwa replied that the address exists, but the suspect cannot be found wherein location.
“It’s the fault of a person who wrote [the report]. He wanted say that the suspect was not present location.”
The judge noted that the report also failed mention other routine details on Suleman and another suspect, Tahir Naqvi.
The FIA prosecutor said the agency reissued the arrest warrant and submit a new report to the court.
Judge Awan then noted that the other suspect, Ghulam Shabbar, had died, to which Bajwa replied that the suspect death the certificate was year old, and the investigation started before it death.
He said he would send a detailed answer.
The judge asked the investigator to inform the court about the degree of investigation carried out with relation to Shabbar. “Apparently this challan will have to reapply.”
Meanwhile, Shahbaz and Hamza counsel, Mohammad Amjad Pervez, argued that the facts in in challan were wrong. “This case was unfair because it was politically motivated. Law says if there are 10 cases against someone, he can’t be arrested separately for each.”
Prime Minister Shahbaz then took podium and said the matter against he was “false”.
“I didn’t take anything from government in 12.5 years,” he said, adding that he used to receive government car in his use refueled from his pocket.
“God has made to me prime minister of this country. I am a passionate person. I didn’t take my legal right, I didn’t take my salary and benefits.”
He recalled that secretary sent him a resume for sugar exports during his tenure as head of the Punjab minister, adding that he had set export restriction and rejected reports.
“My family lost 2 billion rupees because of my decision. I’m telling you reality. When my son’s ethanol plant was set upI decided to impose duty on ethanol. My family annually lost 800 million rupees due to of what decision. Previous government withdrew this notice stating that it was unfair with sugar factories.
The judge subsequently allowed Shehbaz and Hamza to leave, stating that the hearing could take place without their presence.
Their counsel Pervez, claimed that prime minister had nothing to do with the accounts mentioned in FIA report.
“The task of the prosecution is to prove [his connection] to benami accounts. The FIA couldn’t even imagine one statement in 10 years that Shehbaz has anything to do with these accounts.”
protection is not yet know whether the testimony of witnesses for the prosecution in it was truehe said, adding that according to these statements, the accounts were opened for Suleman.
“Witnesses do not say that these stories belonged to Shehbaz. Mushtaq Chini also accounts are open, but FIR is not registered against his.”
Fees against Hamza, Shahbaz
The FIA had in December 2021 introduced challan against Shehbaz and Hamza to special court for their alleged involvement in laundering en amount of 16 billion rupees in sugar fraud case.
“Investigation team found 28 benami accounts of Shehbaz family through which money laundering of In 2008-2018, Rs 16.3 billion was allocated. FIA checked money drag of 17,000 credit transactions,” according to the FIA report submitted to the court.
amount kept in “hidden accounts” and handed over to Shehbaz in private matter, report added.
This amount (16 billion rupees) has nothing to do with sugar business (of Shehbaz family), he said. money received from accounts of low-paid workers Shahbaz was transferred outside Pakistan via hundi/hawala networks, ultimately intended for advantageous use of his family members, as claimed by the FIA.
“Eleven underpaid employees of Sharif group who “held and owned” laundered proceeds on on behalf of of main defendants, found guilty of assistance money laundering. Three other co-defendants of Sharif group also actively promoted money laundering,” the agency said in a statement.