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A special court in Lahore extended on Saturday the interim bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz in a money laundering case, Aaj News reported.

Presiding Judge of the Special Court (Central-I) Ijaz Hassan Awan had earlier taken up the court proceedings where PM Shehbaz and Hamza had appeared before the court and were accompanied by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

The court has also issued arrest warrants for Suleman Shehbaz, Tahir Naqvi and Malik Maqsood as they were not present during today's hearing.

Shehbaz and Hamza's indictment was due on April 27 but was postponed till May 14 after the counsel of the premier sought a one-time exemption for his client on account of him being busy in his duties as PM.

However, it was again delayed as Shehbaz was in the UK and postponed his return in order to visit the UAE to offer condolences over the death of its president.

FIA to withdraw prosecution in Shehbaz, Hamza money laundering cases

Background

Last year, the FIA had submitted a challan in a banking court against Shehbaz and his two sons, Hamza and Salman, citing them as the main suspects in a money laundering case.

The investigation team had found 28 Benami accounts that were operated under Shehbaz and his household staff members' names from 2008 to 2018 — while the opposition leader was chief minister and Hamza was a member of the National Assembly.

On January 27, the special court granted pre-arrest bail to Shehbaz and Hamza in the case.

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