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June 14, 2019

Ashiana, Ramzan Mills cases: Court orders producing Hamza on next hearing

National

June 14, 2019

LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of Ramzan sugar mills and Ashiana housing scheme corruption cases with an order to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to produce Hamza Shahbaz, the son of Shahbaz Sharif, in the court on the next date of hearing.

The court marked attendance of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif in both cases.

The opposition leader in National Assembly had skipped previous hearings of both cases due to his London visit for medical reasons. However, he appeared in the court on Thursday.

As the hearing commenced, the court asked NAB prosecutor about absence of Hamza Shahbaz, the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly. The prosecutor replied that he was on physical remand currently. The court directed the NAB authorities for ensuring the presence of Hamza Shahbaz on the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing the court, stated that he did not commit any corruption and he was being tried in fake cases. He said he was abroad for medical treatment and came back to face the charges. He claimed that he saved billions of rupees of the public exchequer, but he was being ‘rewarded’ with cases against him.

The court adjourned the hearing in Ramzan sugar mills case till June 26 and Ashiana-e-Iqbal scheme case till June 29.

Meanwhile, Khwaja brothers were presented before the court in Paragon Housing Society scandal. The court extended their judicial remand for 14 days and ordered for their production in the court on June 27.

Former railways minister Kh Saad Rafique also spoke to the media after the court proceedings.

He said they had been charge-sheeted in fake cases. “Imran speaks as if he is NAB chairman, and NAB is acting as if it was subservient to Prime Minister’s House”.

He said the opposition need not take to the streets against the budget as the public would themselves do it. The budget had evoked a public outcry, and soon the government too would be crying aloud, he claimed.

“Khan has blessed the public with tsunami of inflation,” the ex-minister said and claimed that Imran Khan’s government would soon be sent packing.

APP adds: Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the proceedings. At the outset of proceedings, NAB prosecutor submitted that Hamza Shahbaz had been arrested in Ramzan Sugar Mills and assets beyond means cases and his physical remand would expire on June 26, in response to a court query.

Strict security measures were made on the occasion whereas a number of PML-N workers were also present to express solidarity with their leader.

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