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Pak PM Shehbaz, his son Hamza acquitted in Rs 16 billion money laundering case
Lahore: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz were acquitted on Wednesday in Rs 16 billion money laundering case.
The Special Court, Central acquitted both of them in the case lodged against them by the Federal Investigation Agency, reported Geo News. The court announced its judgment in the mega money laundering case against the Shehbaz family after the FIA prosecutor informed the court that no money was directly deposited in the accounts of the father-son duo.
The father-son duo -- who were summoned today -- did not appear before the court as their counsel filed a request for exemption as PM Shehbaz had official engagements and Hamza was not well, reported Geo News.
Meanwhile, the FIA still insists that case should proceed against PM Shehbaz, Hamza. However, the court says FIA failed to produce "concrete evidence".
FIA submitted a challan against Hamza, PM Shehbaz in December 2021.
The court acquitted the prime minister and his son after the FIA -- last week -- had cleared the PML-N leaders on the charges of laundering Rs 16 billion as there was "no direct evidence" against the father-son duo, reported Geo News.
After the verdict's announcement, the prime minister thanked God for his acquittal and termed the case against him "fake, baseless, and based on political vengeance".
"No matter how much I thank God enough for this, it won't be enough," he said in a tweet.
PM Shehbaz said that "despite the worst practices, use of state force, and holding institutions hostage," he still triumphed, reported Geo News.
In a statement, the former chief minister said the verdict marks the victory of "truth, righteousness, and honesty".
"In this politically motivated case, I was kept behind bars for almost 22 months, but despite that, we fought the case vigorously," Hamza said.
"The nation's money was wasted, and the reputation of institutions was also damaged due to the cases lodged on Imran Khan's directions," the PML-N leader said.
Hamza said that before Pakistani courts, the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency also gave a clean chit to PM Shehba, reported Geo Newsz.
"The actual money launderer is Imran Niazi, who received funds through a 'tea boy'. He is a certified foreign-funded [politician], who will now have to face the courts," he added.
In December 2021, the FIA had submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza before the special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs 16 billion in the sugar scam case.
According to the FIA report submitted to the court, the investigation team has "detected 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family through which money laundering of Rs16.3bn was committed during 2008-18. The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions," reported Geo News.
The report added that the amount was kept in "hidden accounts" and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity. (ANI)