A new prosecutor was appointed on Friday by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Prime Minister Hamza Shehbaz.
A statement issued by the Department of Justice and Justice on May 13 stated: “Farooq Bajwa, you have therefore been appointed as the special public prosecutor in this case. […] with immediate effect on the terms and conditions which will be resolved separately by the FIA and the specified attorney. “
Lahore High Court is expected to sue the prime minister and his son over a R16 billion legal case on Saturday (tomorrow).
During the pre-trial hearing, the court ordered the prime minister and others to ensure their presence at the next session as there would be no further adjournment. However, PM Shehbaz is currently in London to meet with Nawaz Sharif as part of the PML-N delegation.
FIA claims’ case not ‘reversed’
Bajwa’s appointment comes a day after the FIA issued a statement declaring reports that it had decided to prosecute PM Shehbaz and CM Hamza.
According to a written request, dated April 11, the director general of the FIA (DG), through an investigating officer, told Special Prosecutor Sikander Zulqarnain Saleem not to appear in court as the defendants would be selected. The Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of the Punjab “.
“The relevant courts have no interest in prosecuting the accused,” he said, requesting that the orders be made part of the case report.
In its appeal, the agency said “the case has not been dropped” and that the court proceedings are ongoing, and the next court will be heard on May 14.
“On the 11th of April, the prosecutor in this case filed a motion based on the opinions of the prosecutor, who was ordered not to appear on the prosecutor’s behalf. He mentioned the investigating officer about the DG FIA at the time. allegedly asked not to appear as a prosecutor. It was not a request for withdrawal, “the press release insisted.
He added that Sanaullah Abbasi was the FIA DG at the time and the new prime minister had not yet taken an oath when the application was filed in court.
“Tahir Rai was appointed FIA DG on April 22. The matter coincides with the time before his arrival at the FIA, the news release.
The agency said the change of prosecutor was “normal” and that the same thing had been done many times in the same case by the previous government.
Accusations against Shebaz, Hamza
The FIA in December 2021 filed a lawsuit against Shehbaz and Hamza in a special court case over their involvement in the R16 billion bailout of a sugar fraud case.
“The research team found 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family where the sale of Rs16.3bn was made during 2008-18. The FIA has tracked down 17,000 credit transactions,” according to a FIA report filed. on the court.
The amount was kept in “secret accounts” and given to Shehbhaz in his place, the report added.
This money (Rs16bn) has nothing to do with the sugar industry (of the Shehbaz family), according to the FIA. The money received from Shehbaz ‘low-paid employees’ accounts was transferred out of Pakistan through check / hawala networks, ultimately for the benefit of his family members, the FIA alleged.
“Eleven low-paid employees of Sharif’s group who were holding and handling ’embezzlement in the name of the main accused, have been found guilty of facilitating money laundering.