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February 19, 2020

CSM money-laundering case: Nawaz nephew granted post-arrest bail

National

February 19, 2020

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday granted post-arrest bail to Yousuf Abbas, nephew of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif, in Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) money laundering case.

Appearing on behalf of the accused, Advocate Amjad Pervez contended that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused his client of committing Rs410 million money-laundering. But, he added, his client presented all record to the anti-corruption watchdog because all money was transferred to Pakistan through banking channel and tax was also paid on it after it was declared to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

He pointed out that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were also accused in the case and NAB allegations against Yousuf Abbas were weaker than those levelled against Sharifs. He contended that both of them had already been granted bail in the same case.

He said NAB had taken the same stance against Maryam and Abbas, but Abbas was only accused of helping Maryam Nawaz in money laundering. He said Abbas had been behind the bars since August 8, 2019 but reference had not been filed in the trail court so far.

He said as per the principles laid down by the superior courts, the allegations of corruption and corrupt practices had to be proved by the prosecution. He argued that Abbas spent 48 days in NAB custody on physical remand but no solid proof was produced against him.

In his counter arguments, NAB prosecutor Syed Faisal Raza Bukhari, said Abbas was the director of Chaudhry Sugar Mills from 2006 to 2018 and a huge amount of Rs438 million was transferred to his account from abroad. It was further alleged that more than one billion rupees were transferred to Chaudhry Sugar Mills from the account of Abbas.

A division bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najfi, had reserved its verdict in the bail plea after the two sides concluded their arguments, which was announced later on.

The court directed the applicant to submit two surety bonds worth Rs10 million each for securing his release.