FIA decides not to prosecute PM Shehbaz, son Hamza in money laundering case

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday decided not to pursue Rs.16 billion money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others, just three days before the hearing of a special court of Lahore which was scheduled to frame charges against the PML-N leaders.

Special Court Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan on Thursday issued the written order at the request of the agency’s prosecutor Sikander Zulqarnain Saleem who was directed by the FIA director general (DG), via the investigating officer, not to appear in court as the “accused in the case are going to be elected the prime minister of Pakistan and chief minister of Punjab”.

“The concerned quarters are not interested to prosecute the accused persons,” it stated. The agency further urged the court to make the request a part of the case record.

The written order issued by the court states that following the previous hearing of the case on April 11, the special prosecutor of the agency filed a petition of ‘no interest’ in the trial.

“The concerned FIA officials show no interest in the trial against Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz and others,” the prosecutor prayed.

Cases against Shehbaz and sons:

Shehbaz and his sons — Hamza and Suleman, along with fourteen others – were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2020 under Sections 5(2) and 5(3) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. The premier and his sons were also named in FIR under Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of the PPC.

Former Director FIA’s Death:

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier this week, the former director of FIA Mohammad Rizwan, who probed the charges against Shehbaz and his son, died of a cardiac arrest. Rizwan went on long leave just before the formation of the PMLN-led coalition government following the no-trust motion against former Prime Minister Imran Khan. He was later transferred from the office of the FIA Lahore director. His name was also placed on the no-fly list.

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