LHC issues notice to NAB as Hamza seeks bail | Pakistan Today

LHC issues notice to NAB as Hamza seeks bail

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Hamza Shehbaz seeking bail in Ramzan Sugar Mills case till January 13.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi took up the petition in which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal and Bureau’s Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem have been made respondents.

The bench remarked that Hamza had expressed a lack of confidence in the bench for his pre-arrest bail.

To this, defense counsel said that his client had full confidence in the bench. Yesterday, he had filed a petition in the court on behalf of Hamza, seeking his bail in the case.

Hamza was arrested by the NAB Lahore on June 11 in Ramzan Sugar Mills, money laundering and assets beyond means cases after the LHC had turned down his applications for extension in interim bail.

On Dec 10, an accountability court had allowed the accountability watchdog to interrogate Hamza in the money laundering charges against him in the jail.

The accountability watchdog has been investigating money laundering accusations against Hamza, and new evidence was found in the case after the arrest of Nisar Gul.

On Nov 28, the court had extended Hamza Shehbaz’s judicial remand for another 14 days. The court had ordered the NAB prosecutor to file reference of the money laundering case.

On April 9, the court had indicted Hamza and his father PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in the same case.

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

In the hearing on June 11, Salman Butt – the defense counsel for Hamza – had argued that according to the NAB Ordinance, 1999, 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 account for assets worth Rs380 million. “The money was laundered to Dubai and England, and 40 individuals were involved in the money laundering,” he said.

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