Court extends interim bail of PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza till June 11

Court extends interim bail of PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza till June 11

Lahore (Web Desk): A special court in Lahore on Saturday extended the interim bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz till June 11 Rs16 billion money laundering case.

At the outset of the hearing today, counsel for Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the court that the agency wanted to arrest PM Shehbaz and CM Hamza. The FIA’s lawyer argued that the duo was “not part of the investigation”; however, Hamza’s counsel rejected the claims, accusing the agency of misleading the court as the "two had been a part of the investigations".

Responding to the FIA’s argument, Shehbaz and Hamza counsel Amjad Pervez informed the court that the case was politically motivated, where party leaders were implicated in a forged case. He said the accused could not be tried for similar cases in two different courts, according to legal precedent, as another money laundering case was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The counsel further said that the FIA could not urge for the arrests of the prime minister and the chief minister as the challan had already been filed.

The premier and chief minister were present in the courtroom at this time.

However, the court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Suleman Shahbaz, and two others in the case, as they were not present. The hearing was subsequently adjourned till June 11.

On May 21, the Special Court Central judge accepted the FIA’s plea to first initiate proceedings to declare three co-suspects, Suleman Shehbaz, Maqsood and Tahir Naqvi, as proclaimed offenders in the Rs16 billion money laundering case.