Pak PM Shehbaz, son Hamza get relief in Sugar Mills graft case

He said on Wednesday the Accountability Court Lahore stopped proceedings in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case against Shehbaz and Hamza and sent it back to NAB.
Shehbaz Sharif
Shehbaz SharifANI

LAHORE: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has got a major relief in a 2019 corruption case after an accountability court stopped further proceedings and sent it back to the anti-graft body following changes in the country's accountability laws.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in February 2019 had filed a corruption case against Shehbaz and his son Hamza. The NAB alleged that during his tenure as Punjab's chief minister, Shehbaz misused his authority and got a 10-km sludge carrier constructed in Chiniot district to facilitate Ramzan Sugar Mills owned by his sons.

The NAB said the step inflicted a loss of PKR 21.3 crore (USD 948,565 approx) to the national exchequer.

''This case of Ramzan Sugar Mills has virtually been closed against PM Shehbaz and his son Hamza after it no longer falls in the domain of the accountability court in the light of amendments to the NAB laws passed by the Parliament,'' the prime minister's counsel Advocate Amjad Pervaiz told PTI on Thursday.

He said on Wednesday the Accountability Court Lahore stopped proceedings in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case against Shehbaz and Hamza and sent it back to NAB.

''Under the amended NAB laws, an accountability court now cannot take up a case in which corruption amounting below PKR 50 crore is committed. And in this case, corruption charges against Shehbaz and his son Hamza are a little over PKR 20 crore,'' Pervaiz said.

Ousted prime minister Imran Khan had alleged that the Shehbaz government made changes to NAB laws only to give benefit to him, his family and other politicians at the helm named in various corruption cases. Khan has challenged these amendments in court.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz and his son Hamza also sought acquittal in another multi-million dollar money laundering case against them.

As the special court of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was to indict the father-son duo in PKR 14 billion money laundering case, their counsel told the court that their clients have filed a petition for their acquittal.

Hearing on their acquittal petition will be held on Sept 17.

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