LAHORE: As the newly appointed prosecutor sought time for preparation, the indictment of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz was delayed once again on Saturday.
The special court in Lahore had summoned PM Shehbaz Sharif and his son for his indictment in the Rs16 billion money laundering case today but both of them did not appear before the court.
Due to the duo’s absence from the courtroom earlier, the charges could not be framed against the suspects in the money laundering case on April 11 and April 27.
At the outset of today’s hearing, Mohammad Amjad Pervaiz, Shehbaz Sharif’s counsel, approved the court that the prime minister had to visit his doctor in the United Kingdom and was scheduled to visit the UAE to offer his condolences over the demise of the country’s president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He pleaded with the court to grant him exemption from personal appearance.
At this, the judge remarked that Shehbaz Sharif’s personal appearance was mandatory for his indictment in the case. Meanwhile, the FIA’s prosecutor said that they will not oppose the exemption from the court appearance on medical grounds. The prosecutor said that he himself needed time to prepare for the case.
Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz, however, appeared before the court. As per the rules, the appearance of all the suspects, in any case, is compulsory for the indictment.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till May 21.
In a separate money laundering case, CM Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the accountability court today.
During the course of the proceedings, the interior ministry told the court that the record about the Ashiana reference was burnt to ashes at Ashiana-e-Iqbal Chowki and a case has been registered in this regard in 2017. The ministry said that they have yet to find the record.
At this the court ordered the CCPO to present the record on the next hearing and adjourned the proceedings till May 25.