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September 22, 2020

Assets, money laundering case: Shahbaz wants to know NAB grounds for his arrest

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September 22, 2020

LAHORE: The counsel for opposition leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif Monday asked the Lahore High Court (LHC) to order the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to furnish grounds for the arrest of his client in money laundering and illegal assets case.

“It would not affect Pakistan’s relations with India if NAB discloses the grounds for the arrest,” Shahbaz’s lead counsel Azam Nazir Tarar said in his arguments during the hearing of pre-arrest bail petition, filed before a division bench.

The counsel said there were rumours that Shahbaz Sharif would be arrested in the aftermath of the Sunday’s all parties’ conference. He argued that the NAB wish to arrest the petitioner was beyond any logic since the accountability court had already commenced the trial proceedings on the reference, filed the by the bureau.

He also asked the bench to make the reference part of the bail proceedings. He pointed out that NAB had not furnished the grounds for the arrest in the case of former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq and his brother too.

Advocate Tarar said how he could present the arguments without knowing the grounds for the arrest of his client. Shahbaz was also present in the court. Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, the head of the bench, asked the NAB prosecution team as to why the arrest of the petitioner was necessary.

Special Prosecutor Syed Faisal Raza Bokhari said the investigation was still in progress relating to foreign properties of the petitioner. He said the petitioner always told the investigating team that he needed to visit abroad to bring details of the properties in question. At this, Shahbaz said he could say on oath that the investigating officer had told him that the investigation had been completed.

The bench asked the petitioner’s counsel whether NAB was required to furnish grounds for the arrest in the proceedings of bail before arrest. The bench asked the legal team of Shahbaz to open the arguments on the bail petition and also assured them that NAB would also be asked to answer their questions. The bench adjourned the hearing and directed the petitioner’s counsel to resume arguments on Tuesday (today).