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PM Shehbaz, Hamza in court for money laundering case hearing

Court due to indict both in Rs16bn money laundering case

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son the Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz appeared in the special court (Central-I) regarding their hearing in the Rs16 billion money-laundering case today.

According to local media reports, the father-son duo was accompanied by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. Strict security arrangements have been around the court.

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At the start of the hearing, Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan expressed reservation that others coming to the court were not able to do so due to the security of the premier.

In response, PM Shehbaz mentioned that he has asked his security not to stop anybody. He said that he was appeared in court to maintain its dignity and follow the laws of the country.

The presiding judge of the special court called upon the deputy superintendent of police and station house officer to appear in court; however, both officials refused to do. Responding, Justice Ijaz observed that the police do not follow the court’s orders.

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Upon being asked to take the rostrum, the premier said he would not have appeared in court if he had committed a crime.

PM Shehbaz said that the former prime minister Imran Khan had ordered an investigation against him which was conducted in Britain. He said that he was proved innocent and added that he returned to Pakistan in 2004 and wouldn’t have done so if he had black money.

The premier then spoke about National Accountability Bureau and National Crime Agency probes. He said the investigators pursued the matter for almost two years; however, nothing was found against him.

Previously, the Federal Investigation Agency’s special court had issued an order that it would indict PM Shehbaz and CM Punjab Hamza on May 14. However, the indictment was delayed as the freshly appointed prosecutor sought time for preparation.

Judge of the Special Court (Central-I) Ijaz Hassan Awan also issued arrest warrants for Suleman Shahbaz, Tahir Naqvi and Malik Maqsood in the case, observing that the three had already been declared absconders by the magistrate’s court.

Judge Awan adjourned the hearing till May 28.



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