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Money laundering case: PM Shehbaz, Hamza to be indicted on May 14

Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza will be indicted on May 14. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz will be indicted in the money laundering case on May 14.

The he Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) special court was supposed to indict the PML-N leaders and other suspects allegedly involved in the mega corruption case of Rs16 billion earlier this month. However, the process was delayed due to the absence of the prime minister.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the prime minister did not appear before the court. The special court issued a written order summoning him, Hamza, and all the other suspects to appear in person on May 14.

“It is being made clear to all the parties that on the next hearing, we will indict them […] all the suspects should ensure their attendance,” the special court’s order said. The court noted that it could not indict the suspects today due to the absence of the prime minister.

Earlier, the prime minister’s lawyer had asked the court to excuse the premier from today’s hearing as he was busy in the cabinet meeting. The court did not object to it and accepted it.

As the proceedings commenced, the counsel for the prime minister submitted an application before the court contending PM Shehbaz was busy in Islamabad where he has to chair a meeting.

The FIA’s representatives submitted an application before a special central court judge stating that Shehbaz Sharif remained absent from court a number of times, owing to his engagements in ailments or political activities which is unjustified and akin to making a mockery of the law. The FIA prayed to the court that the said order be recalled and the bail be dismissed.

In their pre-arrest bails, petitioners Shehbaz and his son Hamza  had contended that the version of the FIA was not based on reality. They claimed being implicated in a forged case to humiliate them and the allegations levelled on them were quite false and incorrect.

They implored the court that FIA issued them notices on June 22 to join the investigation while the truth is that NAB had already carried investigation on the same allegation of money laundering.

They added that they wanted to appear before the investigation team but they feared being arrested at the hands of FIA as there are examples relating to their arrests when they had been summoned in a different nature case but arrested in another matter.

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