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Pakistan

Shehbaz gets post-arrest bail in money laundering case, to be released tomorrow

  • In a unanimous decision, the three-judge LHC bench approved his bail against two surety bonds worth Rs.5 million each.
  • Shehbaz was arrested in September last year after the LHC refused to further extend his pre-arrest bail in the money laundering reference filed by NAB.
Published April 22, 2021

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has granted post-arrest bail to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President, Shehbaz Sharif, in a money laundering case.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi approved his bail against two bail bonds worth Rs.5 million each on Thursday.

According to Shehbaz’s counsel, Azam Nazeer Tarar, the surety bond would be submitted tomorrow, as the court hours had ended today. The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly would be released from the Kot Lakhpat jail on Friday.

PML-N Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, took to Twitter to celebrate the decision, saying her uncle has finally been given justice.

“Every time Shehbaz was arrested, his only crime was being loyal to Nawaz Sharif. If you want to challenge Shehbaz, then do it in [his] service [to the people]. Services rendered to the nation cannot be erased through false cases,” she said.

Shehbaz was arrested on September 28, 2020, after the LHC refused to further extend his pre-arrest bail in the money laundering reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He had first received interim bail on June 3, which was later extended on several counts till September 28. Following his arrest, Shehbaz spent 23 days in NAB’s custody after which he was sent on judicial remand on October 20, 2020.

Split Decision on Bail

Earlier on Saturday, the two-member LHC bench gave a split decision on his bail petition and referred the matter to the chief justice for the nomination of a referee judge. Justice Sardar Mohammad Sarfraz Dogar, who had headed the bench, allowed the petition, while the other member, Justice Asjad Javed Ghural, had dismissed the plea on merits.

Following this development, the LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan constituted a full bench on Monday to decide on the petition. The new bench held its first hearing on the post-arrest bail petition on Wednesday and announced its decision today.

Previously, Shehbaz was also arrested by NAB on Oct 5, 2018, in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme and later in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. The LHC had released him on bail in both cases on Feb 17, 2019.

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