LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son, Suleman Shehbaz, was on Monday acquitted granted bail by a special court in a Rs16 billion money laundering case registered with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The special court [central] in Lahore was hearing acquittal pleas filed by Suleman and other accused in the case.
It is pertinent to mention that the premier’s son had been living in self-imposed exile in London for four years after the charges were filed, before returning to Pakistan in December last year. Suleman Shehbaz was accused in the money laundering case registered with the FIA while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had nominated him in an assets-beyond-means reference.
He was declared a proclaimed offender in both cases. But prior to his return, the Islamabad High Court had restrained both the authorities from arresting him.
According to news item shared by local English daily, during today’s hearing Suleman appeared in court accompanied by his counsel, Advocate Amjad Parvez, while the FIA submitted its response to 27 questions asked by the court.
The FIA had booked Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with Sections 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Arrest warrants had been issued for Suleman. However, in its report submitted to the court, the FIA had stated that the warrants could not be executed since Suleman was not present at his address and had gone abroad.
A trial court had also declared him a proclaimed offender, along with another suspect in the Rs 16 billion money laundering case, in July 2022.
In October last year, a special court had also acquitted the prime minister and his elder son, Hamza Shehbaz, in the same case.