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Court orders Shehbaz Sharif’s release on bail

He said Nawaz Sharif was the party's leader for life. Source: FILE.

LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday issued the release order for PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted him bail in the money laundering case.

He is expected to be released from Kot Lakhpat Jail today. The PML-N leader could not released yesterday as the surety bonds could not submitted as the court office hours had ended. 

The court issued a statement that the surety bonds as directed by the LHC have been accepted. It directed to release him on bail from judicial custody, if he is not required in any other case.

A day ago, a three-member bench of the LHC headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and comprising Justice Aalia Neelum and Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi announced a unanimous verdict and granted bail to Shehbaz Sharif.

Last week, the court had approved Shehbaz’s bail against two surety bonds of Rs5 million each but the matter was sent to the chief justice for the nomination of a referee judge after a split verdict

Justice Sardar Mohammad Sarfraz Dogar, who had headed the bench, allowed the petition, while its other member, Justice Asjad Javed Ghural, had dismissed the same on merits. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan order the formation of bench to decide the matter.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to celebrate the decision and said that Shehbaz had finally been given justice.

“Every time Shehbaz was arrested, his only crime was being loyal to Nawaz Sharif,” she said. “If you want to challenge Shehbaz, then do it by his service (to the people).” He said Shehbaz’s services rendered to the nation cannot be erased through false cases.

Shehbaz Sharif was arrested on September 28, 2020, in the money laundering reference after the LHC refused to further extend his pre-arrest bail.

He was first granted interim pre-arrest bail last year on June 3. After his arrest, he remained in NAB custody for 23 days till the trial court sent him on judicial remand on October 20, 2020.

Previously, Shehbaz was also arrested by NAB on October 5, 2018 in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme and later in Ramzan Sugar Mills case. The LHC had released him on bail in both cases on February 17, 2019.