Hamza’s judicial remand extended for another two weeks


LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended the judicial remand of Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz for two weeks in accumulating assets beyond income and money laundering cases.

During the hearing, the court directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to produce the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president again on Oct 16.

Previously, a NAB investigation officer told the court that his team had obtained additional shreds of evidence against Hamza from the chief minister’s office. He revealed that benami companies were made in the name of two government employees – Ali Ahmed Khan and Mehr Nisar Ahmed – who were then working in the CM Office.

He said the anti-graft body had received the details of a property in Chiniot and required data from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and other relevant departments.

On June 11, the accountability watchdog had arrested Hamza after the Lahore High Court (LHC) turned down his applications for an extension in his original bail period. He was then shifted to the bureau’s headquarter at Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore.

In a hearing held on June 11, Salman Butt, the defense counsel, had argued that according to the NAB Ordinance, 1999, the bureau could not issue arrest warrants unless an official inquiry over the said matter was completed.

To which, Justice Naqvi had remarked that the judgment would be done according to the constitution, and justice would be ensured.

In addition, the prosecutor had submitted details of assets of Shahbaz Sharif’s family members in the court, saying that their assets were beyond their known sources of income.

“Billions of rupees were added to the bank accounts belonging to the family members of Shehbaz Sharif, whereas Hamza couldn’t provide details of the sources of his income,” he added.

The bench was further told that, in the year 2018, Hamza’s assets were found to be worth Rs410 million, out of which, he could only account for Rs40 million. “The money was then laundered to Dubai and England, and 40 individuals were involved in the money laundering,” the bench was informed.