LAHORE: The Ministry for Law and Justice has appointed a new prosecutor in a case of alleged money laundering and sugar scam by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz.

Advocate Farooq Bajwa has been appointed as special public prosecutor in the case FIR No 39/2020 on the terms and conditions which will be settled by the FIA with the said advocate, says a notification issued by the legal adviser cell of the ministry of law.

The notification has been issued on a request of the Ministry of Interior for the nomination of a new prosecutor in the case.

The other day, the FIA maintained that the money laundering case against the family of PM Shehbaz had not been withdrawn and was still pending before the trial court.

The explanation came in response to media reports based on an application by FIA’s former special prosecutor Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem filed before the trial court on April 11 -- before the present government was sworn in.

Mr Saleem, in his application, said the FIA director general, through the investigation officer of the case, conveyed to him not to appear in the case as the accused persons were going to be elected as the prime minister and the chief minister.

He expressed his opinion saying the quarters concerned may not be interested in prosecuting the accused persons.

However, a statement issued by the FIA said the application was a personal opinion of the former prosecutor.

The watchdog said the case had not been withdrawn and proceedings were continuing in the court and warned it could take a legal action against those involved in proliferating the news regarding the letter. The trial court is set to resume hearing on May 14 for the indictment of the suspects and arguments of the defence counsel against the charge sheet of the prosecution.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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