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LAHORE: An accountability court on Monday adjourned to February 15 the hearing in Ramzan Sugar Mills reference as a counsel for Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz was still on his legs.

The court asked the lawyers to conclude his arguments on next hearing. Earlier, the Hamza’ s counsel, argued on his acquittal application that there was no possibility of the petitioner proving guilty as no illegality had been committed in the construction of a drain in district Chiniot.

Hamza’s counsel pointed out that the NAB implicated none in the reference except the petitioner and his father. He said a role of abetment had been attributed to the petitioner but the prosecution failed to produce any evidence to establish its case. He said the whole prosecution story was based on assumption.

The court adjourned the proceedings till next hearing as the counsel was continued to submit his arguments. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif of issuing a directive, being Punjab Chief Minister, for the construction of the drain mainly for the use of Ramzan Sugar Mills owned by his sons Hamza and Suleman. It said Rs200 million was spent for this purpose from the public money.

Shehbaz Sharif also appeared before the court. Meanwhile another accountability court adjourned the hearing of Punjab Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme reference to February 15 as cross examination of a prosecution witnesses was in progress.

Shehbaz, former head of Lahore Development Authority Ahad Khan Cheema and other accused persons appeared before the court. The NAB alleged that Shehbaz and other suspects caused a huge loss to the national exchequer by awarding the contract of the housing scheme to a company without bidding. Former principal secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad is also an accused in the reference.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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