FIA plea in Shehbaz, Hamza case accepted

Banking court holds that matter doesn’t fall in its jurisdiction


APP January 14, 2022
Shehbaz Sharif (left) and Hamza Shehbaz (right). PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE:

 

A banking offences court on Friday allowed an application filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against its jurisdiction to hear the money laundering and sugar scam case against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza.

The court held that the matter did not fall in its jurisdiction and returned the challan to the FIA. It directed the agency to file it before the court concerned.

The court also extended the bails of the opposition leader in National Assembly and his son for seven days. It directed them to approach the court concerned for further extension in their bails.

Banking Court Judge Sardar Tahir Sabir announced the verdict on an application.

The court reserved its verdict on the application on Friday morning.

Earlier, during the proceedings, Hamza, the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, appeared before the court and had his attendance marked.

However, Shehbaz did not appear in the court and an application was filed on his behalf for exemption from personal appearance for one day. The court accepted the application.

The FIA counsel filed a report about the role of bankers in the money laundering offences as per the previous court directions. He submitted that no banker was found involved in the offence during the investigation.

To a query, the defence counsel submitted that if the judge considered it appropriate, then the matter could be sent to another court.

To another query, the defence lawyer submitted that the bail applications would also be transferred to the other court.

At the last hearing, the counsel for the parties had advanced their arguments on the application but the court had sought a report about the role of bankers in the matter.

The FIA had challenged the court's jurisdiction to hold trial in the case wherein a challan had also been filed by the agency. Shehbaz and Hamza had obtained interim bails from the court.

Shehbaz and his sons -- Hamza and Suleman -- were booked by the FIA in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of the PPC and 5(2) and 5(3) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman is absconding and residing in the UK.

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