LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in sugar scam case against him and his family members.
Official sources said that a four-member investigation team, headed by FIA Lahore Director, grilled Shehbaz for more than one hour regarding his role as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ramzan Sugar Mills and Al-Arabia Sugar Mills when he was also the Punjab chief minister.
The agency had accused Shehbaz of committing alleged money laundering of Rs 25 billion through two sugar mills and other family-owned business entities from 2008-18.
The sources said that the SIT had asked a total of 20 questions from the opposition leader. They said Shehbaz pleaded his ignorance against some questions and termed some questions "irrelevant". They said the former Punjab CM denied that he was the director of the aforementioned sugar mills and claimed that his children were running the business.
The PML-N president also requested the investigators to "do not disclose anything regarding (inquiry) proceedings to anyone so that they don't get into the hand of the media", the sources said, adding that the FIA has decided to summon Shehbaz again as his response was "unsatisfactory". The date for summon was yet to be decided, they said.
It may be mentioned that the FIA had also summoned Punjab Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz in the same probe on June 24. On Monday, a banking court had granted pre-arrest bail to Shehbaz and Hamza one day before their scheduled appearance before the FIA.
Representing the petitioners, Advocate Amjad Pervez had argued that the FIR registered by the FIA was a sequel to the ongoing campaign of the government to politically victimise the opposition. The counsel pointed out that a reference on similar charges was already pending before an accountability court against the petitioners.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021