Lahore: In a major relief to Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a special court of the Federal Investigation Agency on Wednesday acquitted him and his son Hamza Shehbaz in a multi-million dollar money laundering case.
In November 2020, the FIA booked Shehbaz Sharif and his sons under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act for allegedly committing money laundering worth more than PKR 16 billion.
“Special Judge Central (Lahore) Ijaz Hasan Awan acquitted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son former Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz in a PKR 16 billion money laundering case registered against them two years ago after no evidence was found against them no direct evidence,” a court official told.
As the special FIA court was supposed to indict Shehbaz and Hamza in the case last month, they filed an acquittal and their counsel started arguing.
Their lawyer Amjad Pervaiz presented “final arguments” in court on Monday, arguing that the FIA has no evidence against his clients.
Defense counsel submitted that no prosecution witness testified against the appellants. He argued that the prosecution had not established any link between the petitioners and the bank accounts of the Benami (proxies) it had mentioned in its investigation report.
The court has already declared Shehbaz’s younger son, Suleman Shehbaz, as the proclaimed offender in this case. Suleman has been on the run in the UK since 2019. Shehbaz often says that Suleman is taking care of the family business.
“Another fabricated case created for political victimization is coming to its inevitable end,” PML-N tweeted. “Indeed, the lie shall perish, as the Almighty has promised.” Meanwhile, a senior leader of the federal coalition government claimed that army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had saved the Sharif family from being convicted in corruption cases against them.
“Bajwa Sahib saved the Sharif family from being convicted in the cases and committed a big crime,” senior PPP advocate Aitzaz Ahsan said while talking to reporters.
He said the cases against Shehbaz, his elder brother, and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were open and closed and their convictions were obvious but they were saved by the top man.
Ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the Sharif family is being given “relief” in court cases in a deal with the establishment.