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Money Laundering Case: Court grants interim bail to Suleman Shehbaz till Jan 7

The petition stated that FIA had unjustly nominated Suleman in the money laundering case.



Money Laundering Case: Court grants interim bail to Suleman Shehbaz till Jan 7
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: The Special Central Court Friday accepted the interim bail application of Sulaiman Shehbaz, the son of Prime Minister Muhammabd Shehbaz Sharif in the money laundering case till January 7 against surety bond of Rs500,000.

The judge Qamar Zaman approved the petition and also barred the Nation Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting him in the case.

Sulaiman Shehbaz had registered an interim bail application through his counsel Amjad Parvez in Special Court Central, implicating the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the investigating officer.

In the petition, it was contended that the FIA had unjustly nominated Salman in the money laundering case, the summons notices were not received and he was declared wanted without any notice.

The premier’s son stated in his application: “The legal requirements were not fulfilled before the declaration, interim bail should be granted for the investigation involved in the money laundering case”.

During the hearing, the judge Qamar Zaman asked for Sulaiman Shehbaz's National Identity Card (NIC), on which Sulaiman Shehbaz said: “I do not have the ID card with me as yet, I am sorry, I will bring the ID card with me in the future”. To which the judge replied that the card was needed today, it should be with you at all times.

It is pertinent to mention that Sulaiman Shehbaz had arrived in Pakistan from London this month and had announced to face the money laundering cases filed against him.

Earlier on December 13, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had approved 14-day protective bail of Suleman in the money-laundering case.

According to details, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son surrendered before the high court after Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up his plea, seeking bail in the case.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Aamer Farooq was informed by Suleman's lawyer that his client has to appear before a special judge central in Lahore. Hence, granting his protective bail, the IHC directed him to appear before the special court within 14 days.

He had been living in UK since 2018 after Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) launched multiple cases against him ahead of the general elections.

As per the petitioner, he left Pakistan in 2018 and the case was registered against him in 2020. He further argued that FIA had not issued a call-up notice to him.

The court had earlier ordered Suleman to surrender by December 13 and barred FIA and NAB authorities from arresting him till then.

Cases against Suleman

In 2019, an accountability court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Suleman Shehbaz in money laundering cases.

The FIA’s banking crime circle had claimed discovering billions of rupees stashed in the bank accounts of his staffs.

Following that, FIA registered a case against Shehbaz Sharif and his sons—Hamza and Suleman— in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34, and 109 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In June 2020, the NAB had confiscated Suleman’s shares in 16 companies amounting to Rs2.0 billion along with cash worth Rs4.1 million, also 10 marlas of agricultural land and pieces of land comprising of 209 kanals.

In December 2021, the agency submitted a penalty against Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Shehbaz and Hamza over their alleged connection to Rs16 billion money laundering case. The FIA allegedly reported that Shehbaz family had 28 benamidar accounts which were used to launder money.

The organization also inspected the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions. It was reported that the said amount was kept in secret accounts and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity.

NAB had also alleged that assets worth Rs3.3 billion had been illegally acquired by Suleman, Hamza and Shehbaz Sharif.

The court had issued the arrest warrants for Suleman on May 28 but FIA told the court that orders could not be executed since he left the country.