Shehbaz, Hamza get clean chit by FIA in money laundering case

Shehbaz Hamza case

The Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor on Saturday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shahbaz on the charges of money laundering and said there was ‘no direct evidence’ against the premier or his son in the Rs16 billion money laundering case.

The counsel representing the prime minister also concluded his arguments in the premier’s acquittal application while arguments by the counsel of Hamza are yet to be completed in the case.

As the proceedings commenced, advocate Amjad Pervez argued that the FIA had removed the allegation of Rs9 billion from the challan which was submitted.

He informed the court that the FIA had told them that the alle gation regarding the five bank accounts, amounting to Rs9 billion, were not linked either to the premier or his son Suleiman Shehbaz and belonged to another accused, Mushtaq Cheeni, against whom an investigation was not initiated.

“Those false tales of the kickbacks mentioned in the FIR had not been made part of the challan,” Pervez further told the court.

Advocate Pervez quoted as reference the decision of Mooni Elahi’s recent case, adding this case is also similar in nature. The judge asked about the similarity between the two, to which Pervez replied that Elahi’s case also revolves around the allegation of transferring money through employees with lesser wages.

He further informed the court that PM Shehbaz and Hamza could not be punished as the record which had been collected or submitted before the court during the previous government, could not be relied upon.

Meanwhile, the premier took the rostrum and told the court that he had not been drawing his salary and TA and DA allowances during his last three tenures when he was serving as chief minister of Punjab.

“This amount is in millions, so how could I even think of earning more money fraudulently?”

After the PM’s counsel completed the arguments on his acquittal application, the court adjourned proceedings for a short time. The case was then adjourned till October 11.

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