Hamza Shahbaz sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand – Pakistan

An accountability court in Lahore on Tuesday rejected a request from the National Office of Accountability (NAB) for an extension in Hamza Shahbaz's physical detention, sending him to Lahore Prison in judicial prison in a case of alleged laundering of money and assets beyond the media.

Hamza, son of the president of PML-N and opposition leader of the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, faces consultations in cases related to Ramzan Sugar Mills, money laundering and possession of assets beyond the media.

NAB had appealed to the court for a five-day extension in Hamza's preventive prison, who has been in the custody of the office since June 11. The PML-N leader was present in court during today's proceedings that were led by Judge Ameer Mohammad Khan, and he was asked to stand in the defendant's box.

Watch: Why is Hamza Shahbaz a wanted man?

Then, the court asked the NAB lawyer to explain why a physical detention was sought.

"We have obtained some records from the office of the head of ministers of Punjab," replied the investigating officer of the accountability regulator. He said that two people, namely Ali Ahmed Khan and Meher Nisar Ahmed Gul, worked in the office and that Hamza had established two Benami companies in his name.

The official continued by saying that the records were requested from the Federal Revenue Board (FBR), the Pakistan Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) and other institutions that NAB has now received.

"Have you also obtained records of the Chiniot property?" The judge asked about Ramzan's sugar mills, to which the NAB officer responded positively.

"We need the physical return of Hamza Shahbaz to complete our investigation," the officer said.

According to NAB, Hamza and his younger brother, Salman Shahbaz, who were directors of the sugar mills, got a bridge built with public money in Chiniot that linked directly to their mills.

Meanwhile, Hamza's lawyer argued that the two people named by the investigative officer "have no link to the case" and that NAB "is just going around."

The lawyer urged the court to reject the NAB plea and instead place the PML-N leader in judicial custody.

After hearing all the arguments, the court rejected the request of the accountability office and ordered Hamza to be sent to jail for judicial detention.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1503487/hamza-shahbaz-sent-to-jail-on-14-day-judicial-remand


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