Pak court bars arrest of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s son on arrival in money laundering case

A Pakistani court has stayed the arrest of Suleman Shahbaz, son of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, in a money laundering case.

press trust of india

islamabad,Updates: December 8, 2022 23:22 IST

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif.  (AFP photo)

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif. (AFP photo)

by Press Trust of IndiaPakistan’s top court on Thursday restrained the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from arresting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son Sulaiman Shehbaz in a money laundering case, while allowing him to return to the country on Sunday after four years in self-imposed custody. hopefully. Exile in London.

During the hearing of Suleman’s plea for protective bail in a money laundering case, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also asked him to surrender before it by December 13.

Sulaiman has been in London with his family since 2018, when the National Accountability Bureau accused him of money laundering.

He had filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday, seeking protective bail so that he could surrender before the trial court.

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During the proceedings, IHC Chief Justice Ameer Farooq issued directions to the applicant, asking him to surrender before the court by 13 December and restraining the FIA ​​from arresting him till then.

Dawn newspaper reported that Justice Farooq said that an applicant was required to be present in the court while seeking protective bail.

Suleman’s lawyer told the court that his client was returning to Islamabad via Saudi Arabia on Sunday (December 11). “He wants to appear before the concerned authorities,” he said.

After the arguments, the court approved the protective bail and directed him to appear before it by December 13.

The Prime Minister’s sons are currently in Saudi Arabia – to perform Umrah – on their way to Pakistan.

The FIA ​​had registered a case against Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Sulaiman in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

An arrest warrant was issued against Suleman. However, in its report submitted to the court, the FIA ​​had said that the warrant could not be executed as Suleman was not present at his address and had gone abroad.

He was also declared a proclaimed offender by a trial court in July this year along with another suspect in a Rs 16 billion money laundering case.

According to the FIA ​​report, the investigation team “unearthed 28 benami accounts of the Shahbaz family through which money laundering of Rs 16.3 billion was done from 2008-18”. The FIA ​​probed the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.

The report said the amount was kept in “hidden accounts” and “given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity”.

In a statement reported by Dawn, Suleman said he was forced to leave Pakistan for his safety after “cases of forgery and manipulation” were filed against him and his family to “facilitate the new political order”. it was done.

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