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Judicial remand of Hamza Shahbaz extended till Nov 28th

By Our Correspondent
November 13, 2019

LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday extended the judicial remand of Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz by November 28. He is an accused in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Jail authorities produced Hamza before the court amid tight security as heavy contingents of law-enforcement agencies had cordoned off the court premises. As the hearing commenced, the counsel of Shahbaz Sharif implored the court to grant exemption to Shahbaz from personal hearing as he was busy in the Assembly. The court, after hearing Shahbaz’s counsel, granted him exemption from Tuesday’s hearing.

Before that when the judge entered the courtroom, Hamza was busy talking to PML-N workers and leaders. The judge asked Hamza to come into the dock but Hamza didn’t hear the judge’s call. After which, the judge directed Hamza in a loud voice that he is not in the courtroom to hold a press conference. The judge directed Hamza that he will stand in the witness box on every hearing.

Responding to the judge, Hamza said his (judge’s) tone is not appropriate. As Hamza passed the remarks about the judge, a harsh dialogue was exchanged between the judge and Hamza.

However, PML-N leader Rana Mashhood intervened and pacified the matter, assuring the judge that Hamza respects the court and the law. The court extended the judicial remand of the accused by November 28 after the NAB prosecutor informed the court that an interim reference of the case will be filed soon.

In the reference, the NAB has blamed Hamza Shahbaz for his alleged role being the chief executive of the Ramzan Sugar Mills to get constructed a drain facilitating his mill out of the public money in Chiniot. Then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif allegedly approved an amount of Rs 210 million for the construction of the drain. It has been learnt that the NAB could file another reference against Hamza and Shahbaz related to the construction of a bridge to allegedly facilitate the Ramzan Sugar Mills.

Earlier, the NAB had grilled Salman Shahbaz, but he went to the United Kingdom and never returned to join investigations.