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Pakistan court extends pre-arrest bail of PM Shehbaz Sharif, son in money laundering case; arrest warrant for Shehbaz Suleman

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Lahore, May 21 (PTI) A Pakistani court here on Saturday extended pre-arrest bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz till May 28, while it issued arrest warrant for his other son Shehbaz Suleman in the Rs 14 billion money laundering case.

Shehbaz appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special court in Lahore for the first time since he assumed the charge of the top office. In previous two hearings, he had sought exemption from appearance.

“Presiding Judge of the Special Court Ijaz Awan turned down the request of Shehbaz and Hamza’s counsel for confirming their bails. However, he extended their pre-arrest bail till next hearing on May 28,” a court official told PTI.

The judge allowed Shehbaz to speak on his case.

Shehbaz said the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had conducted an investigation into money laundering allegations against him and his family members for two years but could not find even one rupee of corruption.

“All the cases against me are political,” he said and added that he had served as the chief minister for 10 years in Punjab province but had never taken salary.

“My salary would be Rs10 million but I did not take it. I also went on official tours using my own money. I saved the nation billions of rupees in development projects,” he said.

The prime minister further said the cases against him are part of a witch-hunt by the previous government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan Shehbaz and his sons – Hamza and Suleman – were booked by the FIA in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman has been in the UK for the last three years, evading arrest.

The FIA investigation has detected 28 benami accounts, allegedly of the Shehbaz family, through which an amount to the tune of Rs 14 billion was laundered from 2008 until 2018.

The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions and the amount was kept in “hidden accounts” and allegedly given to Shehbaz in his personal capacity. PTI MZ IND

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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