Sat, 25 Jun 2022

Lahore [Pakistan], May 21 (ANI): Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz arrived at a special court in Pakistan on Saturday for a hearing in a Rs 16 billion money-laundering case as they claimed to have proven innocent in the UK.

The father-son duo was accompanied by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah amid tight security around the court, Geo News reported.

Earlier, the FIA's special court had issued an order that it will indict PM Shehbaz and CM Punjab Hamza on May 14; however, it was delayed due to the premier's foreign tour.

When the court asked PM Shehbaz to take the rostrum, the premier said he would have committed a crime if hadn't appeared in the court.

"On the orders of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, an investigation was conducted in Britain and I was proved innocent," PM Shehbaz recalled, adding that he returned to Pakistan back in 2004 and wouldn't have come back if he had black money.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Ata Bandial took the notice of perceived interference in the "independence of the prosecution branch in the performance of its powers and duties for the investigation and prosecution of pending criminal matters involving persons in authority in the government".

As per the reports by Geo News, the chief justice took notice of the perceived interference on the recommendations of a judge belonging to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the statement issued by the apex court had said.

In December 2021, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza before the special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs16 billion in the sugar scam case.

According to the FIA report submitted to the court, the investigation team has "detected 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family through which money laundering of Rs16.3bn was committed during 2008-18. The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions."The report added that the amount was kept in "hidden accounts" and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity.

Shehbaz and his son, Hamza, are facing Rs 25 billion money laundering charges in the sugar scandal. The FIA had booked them in the case under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act in November 2020. (ANI)

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