Money laundering case: FIA opposes immediate indictment of PM Shehbaz, others 

Money laundering case: FIA opposes immediate indictment of PM Shehbaz, others 

Lahore (Web Desk): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday opposed the immediate indictment of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz in the Rs16 billion money laundering case.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz and Punjab CM Hamza Prime Minister Shehbaz Hamza Shahbaz reached the special court central to attend hearing of the case.

The court was scheduled to indict both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders on May 14 but the process was delayed after newly appointed prosecutor sought time for preparation and absence of Shehbaz Sharif, who was out of Pakistan while visiting UK for the medical treatment at that time.

During today's proceeding, FIA prosecutor Farooq Bajwa opposed the immediate imposition of the indictment, arguing that proceedings should first be completed against the accused.

The court then questioned the prosecution on why it was silent for the past four months and asked whether it was to benefit the accused.

The FIA prosecutor told the court that three suspects in the case were absconders and an application has been submitted against them and prayed upon the court to indict all the suspects at the same time.

In his statement in the court, PM Shehbaz said that that the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA) had investigated him for over two years and could not find "even a rupee of corruption". The premier added that the cases against him were 'political'.

Shehbaz's counsel Amjad Pervaiz said that all the 14 accounts mentioned in the case were transacted through banking channels.

He said that baseless propaganda was spread in this case adding that this is a sham FIR.

The court then reserved judgment on the petition seeking the declaration of the accused as absconders.

It is pertinent to mention that PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Suleman were booked by the FIA in 2020 under Anti Money Laundering Act while more than dozen others have also been named in the case.