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LAHORE: A special court (offences in bank) on Wednesday postponed indictment of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former chief minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz till September 17 in money laundering case.

The premier’s counsel requested for one-day exemption over his engagements in Islamabad due to relief and rescue efforts for flood-related activities. The court also sought replies from the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) till next hearing in acquittal applications of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz.

The court also issued notice to NAB for September 10 on a petition praying to restore the accounts of the Remzan Sugar Mills.

Earlier, the counsel said Pakistan had never witnessed such devastating floods. All the government departments and officials led by the Prime Minister are busy in monitoring relief activities.

The court observed that the hearing was adjourned for a month and sparing 10 minutes for a hearing was not so difficult. The counsel responded that it was necessary for his client to visit Lahore for the hearing.

The FIA prosecutor did not oppose the exemption plea and the court accordingly accepted their pleas.

The counsel also asked the court to unfreeze the bank accounts of Remzan Sugar Mills. He, therefore, prayed the court to fix the petition as the crushing season is going on. The court hinted at restoring the accounts of the company for payment of salaries to the mills staff and the electricity bills and issued notices to the NAB for September 10.

Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman were booked by the FIA in November 2020 under sections of financial fraud, impersonation and forgery and criminal misconduct of Prevention of Corruption Act and read with 3/4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act. Suleman Shehbaz is absconding in the UK.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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