Court extends Hamza’s judicial remand till Nov 28

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LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended judicial remand of Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz till Nov 28 in the assets beyond means case.

On Tuesday, the court extended Hamza’s judicial remand in Ramzan Sugar Mills case against him and his father, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

During the hearing, Presiding Judge Amjad Nazeer expressed resentment at the PML-N leader for not maintaining the decorum of the court. The judge reprimanded Hamza and instructed him to come to the rostrum and stay quiet.

Hamza also exchanged harsh words with the judge. He explained that the people interacting with him had come to the court on their own.

“Next time, you will come straight to the rostrum,” the judge directed Hamza.

The defense counsel sought exemption from personal appearance for Shehbaz Sharif, saying he had to appear before the federal cabinet’s subcommittee in Islamabad.

The court allowed the request and adjourned hearing till Nov 28. Earlier, a NAB prosecutor filed supplementary reference in the case.

On April 9, the court had indicted Hamza and his father Shehbaz in the same case.

However, both accused had denied the charges against them, and maintained that they had saved Rs2,300 billion, assuring that the money was not misused.

On June 11, the accountability watchdog had arrested Hamza in the same cases shifted him to the bureau’s headquarter at Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore as the Lahore High Court (LHC) turned down his applications for extension in his interim bail.

In the hearing on June 11, Salman Butt, the defense counsel for Hamza, had argued that according to the NAB ordinance, the bureau could not issue arrest warrants unless an inquiry over the matter was completed. To which, Justice Naqvi had remarked that the judgment would be done according to the constitution, and justice would be ensured.

Moreover, the prosecutor had submitted complete details of assets of Shehbaz Sharif’s family members in the court with an argument that their assets were beyond their known sources of income.

“Billions of rupees were added to the assets of Shehbaz’s family, whereas Hamza couldn’t provide details of the sources of his income,” he added.

The bench was further told by the NAB that in the year 2018, his assets were found to be worth Rs410 million, whereas he could not prove assets worth Rs380 million, and the money was laundered to Dubai and England, and 40 individuals were involved in the money laundering.