LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday rejected Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz’s bail petition in a case pertaining to assets beyond means of income and money laundering.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Mazhar Ali Naqvi conducted the hearing of the plea.
Few days ago, on Feb 6, the LHC had bailed the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader in Ramzan Sugar Mills case. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Hamza Shahbaz in June 2019.
The counsel of the PML-N leader said the NAB had alleged that his client’s assets swelled unlawfully, while the accountability watchdog could not take action against him under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act 2010.
Upon inquiry, the NAB prosecutor claimed the suspect’s assets rose by 410 billion rupees till 2018. While, Hamza’s counsel said the amount was increased during 15 years. When asked about source of the money, the PML-N leader’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt said his assets were declared and tax returns were filed. While, he said, he also received money from abroad. Without revealing name of the person who transferred money from abroad into Hamza’s account, he said his client never embezzled money.
On Feb 6, the LHC had granted bail to Hamza Shahbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills reference.
The opposition leader and his father, President Pakistan Muslim League-N Shehbaz Sharif, the then provincial chief minister, were accused of using money from national exchequer to make a drain in Chiniot to facilitate the sugar mill.
Counsel of the PML-N leader had said none of the evidence provided in the case could suffice to hold his client accountable. He had said the said drain was constructed in public interest. He had said Shehbaz Sharif was already bailed in the case.