LAHORE: A special court (offences in bank) on Friday allowed an objection raised by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to its jurisdiction to hear the money laundering and sugar scam inquiry trial against the National Assembly opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza.

Judge Tahir Sabir announced a reserved decision on an FIA application and also returned the challan (investigating report) to the prosecution, earlier filed against the suspects.

Earlier, during the course of arguments, the judge asked the prosecution and the defence as to what would be the fate of the pre-arrest bail granted to the suspects in case the proceedings were shifted to an other court.

The defence counsel, Amjad Pervez, stated the bail petitions would automatically be shifted to the other court, along with the trial proceedings.

The judge extended the bail of Shehbaz and Hamza for seven days, allowing them to file the petitions afresh before the new court. The judge also returned the challan to the FIA to be submitted before a Special Judge (Central-I).

Earlier, the prosecution told the court that the agency had cleared the officials of different banks of any charge in the challan.

Hamza appeared before the court, while an application for one-time exemption from personal appearance was filed on behalf of Shehbaz as he was not available due to the National Assembly session in Islamabad. The court allowed the application.

The FIA had booked 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 Pakistan Penal Code (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.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

UAE targeted
Updated 19 Jan, 2022

UAE targeted

MONDAY’S deadly drone strikes by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeting the UAE, and subsequent retaliatory attacks on...
19 Jan, 2022

New province debate

THE private bill introduced by a PML-N senator seeking a new province in south Punjab amounts to oversimplification...
19 Jan, 2022

Omicron in Karachi

WITH the wedding season in full swing, it is no surprise that the Covid positivity rate in Karachi has been touching...
The establishment pivot
18 Jan, 2022

The establishment pivot

It is a sad reality that the power matrix continues to revolve around the establishment.
18 Jan, 2022

Remittances growth

THE hefty growth in remittances from Pakistanis living abroad continues to defy forecasts to the contrary. New State...
18 Jan, 2022

China-Iran deal

THE China-Iran strategic deal that has recently taken effect is more than just a long-term bilateral agreement...