A special court in Lahore extended the interim bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz until May 28 in the Rs16 billion money laundering case hearing on Saturday.
In the hearing, the Presiding Judge of the Special Court (Central-I), Ijaz Hassan Awan, also issued arrest warrants for the three suspects, Suleman Shahbaz, Tahir Naqvi, and Malik Maqsood, stating that the three had already been declared absconders by the magistrate’s court.
He issued arrest warrants for the suspects as they were not present.
Awan summoned the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and station house officer (SHO); however, both officials denied appearing in the court. At this, the judge noted that the police do not adhere to the court’s orders.
The hearing, scheduled for May 14, was postponed because PM Shehbaz was in the UK and delayed his return to the country to offer condolences over the death of the UAE’s ailing president.
During the hearing, Shehbaz said that the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had conducted an investigation on the orders of former premier Imran Khan for nearly two years but could not find “even one rupee of corruption.”
Regarding the investigations conducted by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and National Crime Agency (NCA), he stated that the latter investigated the matter for nearly two years; however, they found nothing against him.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has barred the authorities from making postings and transfers in high-profile criminal cases.
On Wednesday, CJP Ata Bandial took suo moto notice of perceived interference in the “independence of the prosecution branch in the performance of its powers and duties for the investigation and prosecution of pending criminal matters involving persons in authority in the government” on the recommendations of a judge belonging to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In December 2021, the FIA submitted a challenge against Shehbaz and Hamza before the special court for their alleged involvement in laundering Rs16 billion in the sugar scam case from 2008 to 2018.
According to the FIA report, the investigation team has “detected 28 hidden accounts of the Shehbaz family, and examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.