NAB court favours physical remand of Hamza for 15 days
LAHORE: Accountability court on Wednesday has approved physical remand of Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills, money laundering and assets beyond means cases for 15 days.
During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau’s officials requested the court for 15-day physical remand of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader for interrogation.
On the occasion, strict security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward situation while entrance of irrelevant people was also banned. A medical board also conducted complete checkup of Hamza and declared him fit.
On June 11, NAB detained Hamza Shahbaz as the Lahore High Court (LHC) turned down his applications for extension in the interim bail.
The development allowed NAB to further investigate into corruption charges against him, and in this regard, a special team shifted him to the bureau’s headquarter at Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore.
As the hearing resumed, Salman Butt, the defense counsel for Hamza, argued that according to the NAB ordinance, the bureau could not issue arrest warrants unless an inquiry over the matter is completed.
He further stated that in this case, the investigation into money laundering case was still ongoing and his client was coordinating with the investigation team.
Contrarily, the NAB prosecutor stated that Hamza’s arrest warrants were issued according to the law as the Financial Monitoring Unit had found his involvement in the money laundering.
Moreover, the prosecutor 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.
Earlier on May 28, a two-member bench forwarded the bail matter to the chief justice for its fixation before any other appropriate bench when Hamza requested asked the bench to refer the matter to any other bench to protect integrity of the court following certain reservations on it in the light of a ‘controversial’ media interview of NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal.
On May 28, the court extended Hamza’s pre-arrest bail for an unspecified period of time.
On May 22, the court had extended Hamza’s pre-arrest bail till May 28 in the same cases.
On May 8, the court extended his bail till May 22 when his counsel pointed out that the NAB had not given them reasons for his arrest and the documents showing approval of the inquiries by the competent authority. – NNI