Cases against Shehbaz, Hamza: Court expresses displeasure over FIA’s tardy probe

Published September 5, 2021
The judge extended the interim pre-arrest bail of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (L) and his son Hamza Shehbaz (R) till Sept 25. — Dawn/AFP/File
The judge extended the interim pre-arrest bail of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (L) and his son Hamza Shehbaz (R) till Sept 25. — Dawn/AFP/File

LAHORE: A duty judge for a special court (offences in bank) on Saturday expressed his displeasure over the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for its slow pace of investigation in the money-laundering and sugar scam case against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza.

Duty Judge Aslam Gondal regretted that the FIA had written only four lines during the last two months.

“Is this the way of investigation?” the judge asked the investigating officer.

The judge warned the officer not to appear without any real progress in the investigation on the next hearing.

The judge extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Shehbaz and Hamza till Sept 25 and also summoned FIA director Dr Rizwan on the next hearing.

Earlier, Shehbaz and Hamza appeared before the court along with their counsel. Shehbaz stated that the inquiry against him was unlawful and without any justification as he was not a director or a shareholder of Ramzan Sugar Mills.

Hamza said the FIA had already interrogated him when he was in jail on judicial remand in an accountability reference carrying similar allegations.

The judge also directed both to appear before the investigation team whenever it summoned them.

Some leaders and workers of the PML-N also visited the court to express solidarity with the party leaders. The FIA registered a case against Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 – financial fraud, impersonation and forgery – of the PPC and 5(2) and 5(3) – criminal misconduct – of Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman Shehbaz is absconding in the UK.

The banking court had granted the bail to Shehbaz and Hamza on June 21, a day before the first appearance of Shehbaz before the FIA.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021

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