Updated July 10th, 2023 at 20:37 IST

Pakistan court acquits PM Shehbaz's son Suleman in Rs 16bn money laundering case

A special court in Pakistan on Monday acquitted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's son Suleman Shahbaz and all other accused named in the Rs 16 billion money laundering case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. IMAGE: AP | Image:self
Advertisement

A special court in Pakistan on Monday acquitted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's son Suleman Shahbaz and all other accused named in the Rs 16 billion money laundering case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The special court here issued its order on pleas filed by Suleman and others accused in the case seeking their acquittal. The prime minister's son was present alongside his counsel before the court at the time of the announcement, Geo News reported.

Suleman, who returned to Pakistan in December last year after a four-year self-exile in London, was not only accused in the case but was also named in an assets-beyond-means reference. He was declared a proclaimed offender in both cases.

Ahead of his arrival, the Islamabad High Court restrained both the FIA and NAB from arresting him.

The FIA, this January, cited a lack of proof and cleared him in the sugar mills case.

Meanwhile, the FIA has submitted the answers to the 27 questions related to the case in the court.

Judge Bakht Fakhar Behzad inquired regarding those involved in the inquiry of the money laundering case. FIA's lawyer told the court that the inquiry was conducted by a joint investigation team headed by a late FIA official.

"Tell me straight away, don't make up stories, I have read it all. I will send all the FIA people to jail now, remember this. I want an answer, what proof of crime was there with the challan?" the judge asked.

Suleman's counsel, Advocate Amjad Parvez, said that the case is baseless and he had spoken against it. The court then asked, under whose pressure the case was filed.

The prosecutor said that there was no direct evidence and Suleman was declared accused in the light of the form used to open the account.

After the hearing, the court acquitted all the accused including Suleman in the money laundering case.

"Thanks be to Allah that the facts came before the people, today by the grace of Allah we have been exonerated," Suleman told reporters outside the court. 

Advertisement

Published July 10th, 2023 at 20:37 IST