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Shahbaz Sharif sent on judicial remand in money laundering case

October 21, 2020

By News Desk

LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday sent Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif to Kot Lakhpat Jail on judicial remand in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering and assets beyond means.

A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team produced the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president before accountability court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan after Sharif’s seven-day physical remand expired. The court was requested to extend physical remand for further investigation.

The court questioned why the bureau required further physical remand. A NAB prosecutor responded by saying the bureau wanted to investigate as to how Shahbaz Sharif returned a loan obtained to purchase flats in London.

He accused Sharif of not cooperating in the investigation, claiming that in response to NAB questions, the opposition leader stated that he would reply to them in the court. The prosecutor said investigations could not be completed due to his alleged non-cooperation and further custody was required.

At this, Sharif told the court that the bureau had not given him any new questionnaire. He said he had already responded to NAB questions and now it was a part of the reference.

The investigation officer said Sharif transferred some “17 thousand pounds abroad” but he was not sharing details about the source of the money. He added Shahbaz Sharif committed “white collar crime” and repeated the claim that the PML-N leader was not cooperating in the investigations.

However, Sharif said he was in the bureau’s custody in 2018 when the investigations in the case began. He said he had served 85 days on physical remand, if the previous remand term was added.

Subsequently, the court, after hearing the arguments of the parties, denied the request for further physical remand and sent Sharif to Kot Lakhpat jail on judicial remand. The PML-N leader is to be brought before the court on October 27.

Shahbaz Sharif was arrested by the bureau on September 28 after a Lahore High Court division bench dismissed his pre-arrest bail petition in the money laundering case.

The 55-volume money laundering and assets beyond means reference against the Shahbaz Sharif family names Shahbaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Salman Shahbaz, Nusrat Shahbaz, Rabia Imran, Javeria Ali, Nisar Ahmad Ali, Ahmad Khan, Syed Tahir Naqvi, Qasim Qayyum, Rashid, Masroor Anwar, Muhammad Usman, Fazal Dad, Shoaib Qamar and Haroon Yousafzai. Yasir Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Shahid Rafique and Aftab were made approvers in the reference.

Meanwhile, an accountability court on Tuesday adjourned hearing the Ramzan Sugar Mills case against Shahbaz Sharif and his son, Hamza Shahbaz, till October 31. Accountability court Judge Amjad Nazir Chaudhry conducted brief proceedings of the case wherein jail authorities produced Hamza Shahbaz. The court, after a brief hearing, adjourned the case due to lawyers’ strike.