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LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday allowed one-time exemption to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz in a money laundering reference and directed their counsel to come up with arguments on July 26 in applications seeking permanent exemption.

Presiding Judge Qamaruz Zaman held the first hearing in the reference after its transfer to his court. Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz did not appear before the court as their counsel filed applications for one-time exemption from the personal appearance.

Earlier, the counsel told the court that the Prime Minister had to preside over an important official meeting in Islamabad while Hamza Shahbaz was busy due to a session of the Punjab Assembly for re-election of the Punjab Chief Minister.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alleged that the family members and benamidars of Shehbaz Sharif received fake foreign remittances of billions in their personal bank accounts. In addition to these remittances, the bureau said, billions of rupees were also laundered by way of foreign pay orders, which were deposited in personal bank accounts of his sons Hamza and Suleman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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