A particular court docket in Lahore on Wednesday acquitted Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz within the Rs 16 billion cash laundering case.
The Special Court, Central right now reserved its verdict on the acquittal plea of PM Shahbaz and Hamza.
The court docket summoned PM Shahbaz and Hamza at 12 midday right now, after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor knowledgeable the court docket that no cash was straight deposited into the accounts of the father-son duo; However, each the leaders didn’t seem within the court docket.
His lawyer requested exemption from look because the prime minister was busy with official engagements and Hamza was unwell.
Both Shahbaz and Hamza had filed for acquittal earlier than the court docket, on which their lawyer virtually accomplished their arguments on Tuesday. As the listening to started, an software was filed on behalf of Shahbaz looking for one-time exemption from private look, which was accepted by the court docket.
During right now’s listening to, FIA prosecutor Farooq Bajwa opposed the acquittal of the suspects, saying Hamza was allegedly concerned in a cash laundering case price Rs 25 billion.
“We want this case to go ahead,” the prosecutor urged.
However, Special Court Judge Ejaz Awan stated the FIA had failed to supply “concrete evidence” within the challans introduced in court docket towards the suspects. Thereafter, the court docket acquitted the accused.
In the earlier listening to, the particular court docket choose requested in regards to the variety of financial institution accounts owned by Malik Maqsood – also referred to as Maqsood Chhaprasi.
The FIA prosecutor replied that the late Maqsood had eight financial institution accounts in his title.
The prosecutor additional stated that no cash was straight deposited or withdrawn from the accounts of the suspects, together with Shahbaz and Hamza.
The choose requested whether or not there was proof that the whole cash was being transacted on the behest of Hamza.
In response, the FIA prosecutor stated the company had “no evidence” linking him to cash laundering.
Case ‘pretend, baseless’: PM Shahbaz
Following the announcement of the decision, the prime minister thanked God for the acquittal and termed the case towards him as “fake, baseless and based on political vendetta”.
“No matter how much I thank God for this, it will not be enough,” he stated in a tweet.
PM Shahbaz stated that regardless of “worst practices, use of state force and taking institutions hostage,” he nonetheless gained.
‘Imran Niazi is the actual cash launderer’
In a press release, the previous chief minister stated the decision marks the victory of “truth, righteousness and honesty”.
Hamza stated, “I was kept behind bars for about 22 months in this politically motivated case, but despite this we fought the case vigorously.”
The PML-N chief stated that the nation’s cash was wasted and the fame of the establishments was additionally broken because of the circumstances registered on the directions of Imran Khan.
Hamza stated that the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom had additionally given a clear chit to PM Shahbaz in entrance of Pakistani courts.
“The real money launderer is Imran Niazi, who got the money through a ‘tea boy’. He is a certified foreign-funded. [politician]Those who will now have to face the courts,” he stated.
‘Where is Shahzad Akbar?’
Congratulating Prime Minister Shahbaz and Hamza, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ata Tarar stated that with the choice “the narrative of Imran-era retaliatory accountability is buried.”
“where is [Khan’s former aide on accountability] Shahzad Akbar?” he questioned throughout the press briefing.
In December 2021, the FIA produced challans earlier than a particular court docket towards Shahbaz and Hamza for his or her alleged involvement within the laundering of an quantity of Rs 16 billion in a sugar rip-off case.
According to the FIA report submitted to the court docket, the investigative workforce has “traced 28 benami accounts of the Shahbaz family through which money laundering to the tune of Rs 16.3 billion was carried out during 2008-18. The FIA traces the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.” examined.”
The report said the amount was kept in “hidden accounts” and given personally to Shahbaz.
This amount (Rs 16 billion) has nothing to do with the sugar business (Shahbaz family). The FIA had alleged that funds received by Shahbaz from the accounts of low-paid employees were transferred outside Pakistan through hundi/hawala networks, ultimately for the beneficial use of his family members.
“Eleven low-paid employees of the Sharif Group, who had money laundering proceeds on behalf of the main accused, were found guilty of facilitating money laundering. Three other co-accused of the Sharif Group also actively facilitated money laundering. of,” the company had stated.