Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif appears before special court in money laundering case

Lahore: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appeared before a special court here in a multi-million dollar money laundering case against him.

Shehbaz, 70, and his sons Hamza, 47, and Suleman, 40, were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act in a Rs 16 billion money laundering case.

The case is being heard by a special court in Lahore, which had already granted pre-arrest bails to both Shehbaz and Hamza. Suleman is absconding and living in Britain.

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During the hearing on Saturday, Shehbaz requested the court to allow him to speak which the judge granted.

“I never committed a single penny of corruption nor received any kickbacks in any project during my tenure as the chief minister of Punjab. During my tenure, I would give up my salary and other perks amounting to Rs 100 million,” the prime minister said.

The father and son’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz presented his arguments in his clients’ plea for acquittal, informing the court that the FIA has removed charges of PKR 9 bn from its charge sheet initially presented before the court as it has no proof against his clients.

The counsel further said that the indictment of the PM and his son was not possible in this case as it lacks evidence.

The court adjourned the hearing till October 11.

The court has already declared Shehbaz’s younger son Suleman a proclaimed offender in the case. Shehbaz often says Suleman looks after the family business.

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