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Banking court extends Shahbaz, Hamza’s bail

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Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif arrives for a money laundering case hearing at Lahore High Court on May 07, 2021. — PPI/File
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif arrives for a money laundering case hearing at Lahore High Court on May 07, 2021. — PPI/File

LAHORE: A banking court on Saturday extended the bail of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz till October 31 in a money laundering case.

Shahbaz, and his son, Hamza, appeared for the hearing of the case at the banking court today.

The banking court judge asked the counsel for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to inform him about the progress in the investigation, to which the FIA ​​lawyer said that a questionnaire was sent to Shahbaz and that the Opposition leader had submitted a reply yesterday (Friday).

The FIA ​​lawyer said that the investigation will move forward after taking into account Shahbaz’s responses, to which the judge said that it was too late as applications for interim bail lay pending before the court.

The FIA ​​objected to a banking court hearing the case, saying that due to anti-corruption provisions, it does not have the jurisdiction to do so.

At this, the judge said that for the first time, a question of jurisdiction has been raised by the public prosecutor. He said that the matter would be taken up on October 30.

During the proceedings, Shahbaz informed the court that this was part of the “same case” in which a UK court had found him not guilty of corruption.

Adjourning the day’s proceedings, the banking court judge said that the next hearing would take place on October 30.

The banking court had earlier extended Shahbaz and Hamza’s bail till October 9 (today).

UK court’s order 

On September 27, a UK court had ordered the unfreezing of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and his family’s bank accounts for lack of evidence of corruption and money laundering.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) unfroze the bank accounts of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and those of his son, Suleman Sharif.

The NCA conducted a 17-month long probe in which it examined Shahbaz Sharif’s financial transactions over the past 20 years. In it, no evidence of money laundering or criminal activities against the PML-N president or his family were found.

The NCA submitted the investigation report of the bank accounts at the Westminster court in which it said that Shahbaz and his son were not involved in money laundering practices in Pakistan, Dubai and the UK.

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