Pakistan News

Judicial remand of Hamza extended

Judicial remand of Hamza extended

LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended judicial remand of Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz in two different references — Ramzan Sugar Mills and illegal assets/money laundering.

A NAB prosecutor told the court that some more time was required to complete reference.

The court adjourned hearing till Oct 2 and also extended judicial remand of Hamza.

Hamza was arrested by the NAB on June 11 last after he withdrew his bail petitions from the Lahore High Court. The accountability court had not extended physical remand of Hamza in the sugar mills case after July 5 and he was sent to jail in other reference as well on last hearing.

Meanwhile, the court allowed an application filed on behalf of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif seeking one-time exemption from appearance in proceedings of Ramzan Sugar Mills and Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing scheme cases.

Hearings in these cases were also adjourned till Oct 2.

In the sugar mills case, the NAB alleged that then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif approved construction of a drain in Chiniot with a cost of Rs360 million only to benefit the mills owned by his sons, Hamza and Suleman. It said public funds were misused for the benefit of family business of the suspects.

In the housing scheme scam, the bureau alleged that Shahbaz being chief minister misused his powers and got cancelled a lawfully granted contract to M/s Ch Abdul Latif & Sons, which also caused a loss to national exchequer.

LDA former head Ahad Cheema and former principal secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad are facing trial in this case.

In another reference, the anti-corruption watchdog accused Hamza of committing money laundering and accumulating illegal assets.

A report filed on the last hearing said illegal assets worth Rs3.3 billion had been identified so far owned by Hamza, his brother Suleman and their father Shahbaz. Three co-suspects had so far turned approver against Hamza and his family in this case.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019

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