ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday restrained the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting the absconding son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Suleman Shehbaz was an accused in a money laundering case registered with the FIA, while NAB had nominated him in an assets-beyond-means reference.
Suleman filed a petition seeking a protective bail through his counsel Amjad Pervaiz who argued before the court that his client had decided to surrender before the FIA’s special court in the money laundering case and before an accountability court in the NAB reference, but he has apprehension of arrest upon arrival.
He informed the court that Suleman has bought tickets for Islamabad and his flight is scheduled to land at the Islamabad International Airport on Dec 11.
IHC asks PM’s son to surrender by 13th
He requested the IHC to grant him protective bail for two weeks so he can reach the courts of competent jurisdiction.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observed that protective bail could not be granted without physical presence of the accused.
Mr Pervaiz requested the court to restrain the investigation agencies from arresting Suleman so he can appear before the IHC.
Justice Farooq accepted his request and issued the order accordingly. The court directed Suleman to surrender before the IHC by Dec 13.
The trial court had in July this year declared Suleman Shehbaz a proclaimed offender, along with another suspect in the Rs16 billion money laundering case.
An accountability court in Lahore had declared him a proclaimed offender after a NAB prosecutor said the bureau had issued at least six call-up notices to the suspect, but he did not respond and fled the country to avoid investigation.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022