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Tuesday August 16, 2022

Money laundering: FIA not to pursue case against PM Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab CM Hamza Shahbaz

The Special Judge Central said in his order that after hearing of the case on April 11, the FIA’s special prosecutor moved the application of no interest in the trial

By APP
May 13, 2022
Shehbaz Sharif along with son Hamza Shahbaz. Photo: The News/File
Shehbaz Sharif along with son Hamza Shahbaz. Photo: The News/File

LAHORE: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday decided not to pursue money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and  Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others.

In a written order released here on Thursday, Special Judge Central Ejaz Hussain Awan made the application filed by the FIA prosecution part of the case record. The order stated that after hearing of the case on April 11, the FIA’s special prosecutor moved the application of no interest in the trial.

It added that the special prosecutor submitted that the DG FIA through the investigation officer had conveyed to him to stop appearing in the case as the quarters concerned are not interested in pursuing the case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. The order further noted that the special prosecutor had asked for making the application part of the record. The application is accordingly taken on the record and be annexed with the case, said the orders.

Numan Wahab from Lahore adds: Meanwhile, the FIA clarified that the case of Rs16 billion alleged money laundering against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has not been withdrawn and is still pending before the special central trial court, Lahore.

The agency termed the news story related to the withdrawal of cases against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others as “fake news”.

It is pertinent to mention here that the next date of hearing of this case is May 14 and charges against father-son duo are likely to be framed on that hearing. Indictment of the both said accused has been pending before the trial court for the last many hearings due to different reasons.

The FIA has given said explanation in response to news reports based on an application by FIA special prosecutor Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem filed before the trial court on April 11 ahead the incumbent government was sworn in. The previous government of Imran Khan had engaged Saleem Zulqarnain, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, as a special prosecutor of the FIA in the case against then opposition leader Shehbaz and his son. Saleem Zulqarnain, in his application, titled “intimation” stated that the director general of the FIA through the investigation officer of the case conveyed to him not to appear in the case as the accused persons were going to be elected as the prime minister and the chief minister of Punjab.

“So may be the ‘quarters concerned’ are not interested in prosecuting the accused persons.” Ijaz Hassan Awan, the presiding judge of the special court (Central-I), has made the application part the case record.

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