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Money laundering case: Court declares Shahbaz’s wife as absconder

December 09, 2020

LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday declared Nusrat Shahbaz, the wife of opposition leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif as an absconder in a money laundering and assets beyond means case.

Nusrat Shahbaz was declared an absconder after she failed to appear in the court despite repeated summons. Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the case proceedings, wherein jail authorities produced Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz and others on the expiry of their judicial remand term.

At the start of the proceedings, an associate of Shahbaz Sharif’s counsel Amjad Parvaiz requested the court to adjourn the proceedings as the counsel could not appear due to his engagements in the apex court.

At this stage, after getting permission from the court, Shahbaz stated that he had never taken a salary or other allowances during his three tenures as chief minister of Punjab. The court, however, stopped him from making such statements, observing that criminal trials have certain rules preventing such statements. Shahbaz then said he had not been provided a physiotherapist yet and the court’s orders had not been complied with. At this, the court remarked that directives had already been given to authorities in this regard and summoned the jail superintendent at the next hearing with an implementation report.

Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings until December 12 and declared Nusrat Shahbaz an absconder. The court observed that she was summoned through a proclamation, however, she had still not appeared in the court despite 30 days’ time period.

It is pertinent to mention here that the court had already declared Shahbaz’s son Salman Shahbaz, daughter Rabia Imran and son-in-law Haroon Yousaf as absconders in the case in late October.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has nominated 16 persons as accused in the case. However, only 10 out of 16, have been indicted so far. Besides Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Javeria Ali, Fazl Dad Abbasi, Rashid Karamat, Muhammad Usman, Masroor Anwar, Nisar Ahmad, Shoaib Qamar, and Qasim Qayyum had been indicted in the case.