Pakistan: PM Shehbaz, his son Hamza appear before court in sugar scam case

Lahore [Pakistan], May 30 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz on Saturday appeared in a special court in Lahore for the hearing of Rs 16 billion money laundering case registered against them.

During the hearing the counsel of Shehbaz and Hamza, Mohammad Amjad Pervaiz argued before Special court Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan that the facts in the challan were incorrect.
“This case was mala fide because it was politically motivated. The law says if there are 10 cases against someone, he cannot be arrested separately for each.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz reiterated that the case against him was false. “I have not taken anything from the government in 12.5 years,” he said, adding that he used to get the government car for his use refuelled at own expenses, the Dawn reported.

“God has made me the Prime Minister of this country. I am a passionate man. I did not take my legal right, I did not take salary and benefits,” Shehbaz said.

He recalled that the secretary had sent a summary to him for sugar export during his tenure as Punjab chief minister, adding that he had set an export limit and rejected summaries, the Dawn reported.

“My family lost Rs 2 billion because of my decision. I am telling you the reality. When my son’s ethanol production plant was being set up, I still decided to impose a duty on ethanol. My family lost Rs 800 million annually because of that decision. The previous government withdrew that notification stating that it was injustice with the sugar mills,” Shehbaz said.

On the other hand, the judge pointed out to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor Farooq Bajwa that the agency’s report regarding the arrest of Shehbaz’s son, Suleman Shehbaz, and other suspects had contradictory statements.

“On one hand, the report says that D-41, Model Town, is not an address. On the other, it also says the suspect Suleman Shehbaz is abroad,” he observed.

On this, Bajwa responded the suspect could not be found at that location but the address did exist. He said that it was the fault of the person who wrote the address as he wanted to say that the suspect was not present at that location.

The judge further noted that in the report the other routine details on Suleman and another suspect Tahir Naqvi were also missing and another suspect Ghulam Shabbar, had passed away.

The FIA prosecutor said that the suspect’s death certificate was a year old and the inquiry had started prior to his death, adding that the agency would re-issue the arrest warrants and submit a fresh report to the court.

The judge asked the investigation officer to inform the court about the extent of the investigation conducted with regard to Shabbar. “Apparently, this challan will have to be re-submitted,” Dawn quoted him as saying.

Following this, the judge allowed Shehbaz and Hamza to leave, saying that the hearing could proceed without their presence.

The court had extended the interim bail of Shehbaz and Hamza till May 28, during the hearing, last week and also issued an arrest warrant for three others, including Suleman Shahbaz, Tahir Naqvi, and Malik Maqsood stating that the three have been declared absconders by the magistrate court, Geo tv reported.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in December 2021 had submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza before the special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs 16 billion in the sugar scam case. (ANI)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here