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Court orders Punjab govt to use bullet-proof car for Shahbaz Sharif

An image of Shahbaz Sharif. Photo: File

LAHORE: An accountability court in Lahore on Thursday issued directions to the provincial government to bring PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz in a bullet-proof vehicle instead of an armoured one for court hearings.

The order was issued by the administrative judge of the Accountability Court Jawad-ul-Hassan during the latest hearing of Shahbaz Sharif’s petition against his money-laundering case.

Per sources, Home Secretary Punjab and SP security were also present during the hearing.

On November 11, the accountability court in Lahore had indicted Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, and others in a money laundering case. The suspects, however, pleaded not guilty.

Speaking to media outside the courtroom, Shahbaz had dismissed the NAB cases as “baseless” and termed them politically-motivated.

The former chief minister is accused of accumulating assets worth Rs7,328 million in connivance with his co-accused family members, benamidars, front persons and close associations and for developing an organised system of money laundering.

The anti-graft watchdog has nominated a total of 20 individuals in the reference – Shahbaz’s wife Nusrat, his sons Hamza and Suleman, and daughters Rabia Imran and Javeria Ali.

NAB has accused the PML-N president of committing corruption as envisaged under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and money laundering as outlined in the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. It says that the accused “created fake sources of income” to “justify the assets” acquired beyond known sources of income.

On September 29, Shahbaz was arrested by NAB after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected his bail in the money laundering case.

The PML-N president was previously arrested on October 5, 2018, in another case pertaining to Ramzan Sugar Mills and Ashiana Housing Scheme. He was in the anti-graft watchdog’s custody when the inquiry into money laundering was authourised.

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