Companies Owned by Suleman Shehbaz
In order to pay employee salaries, eight companies owned by Suleman Shehbaz, a son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and a proclaimed offender in an Rs16 billion money laundering case brought by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), had their bank accounts unfrozen on Monday by a special court (central-I).
During the hearing, defence attorney Amjad Parvez informed the court that since the FIA froze the bank accounts of the companies held by Suleman, the employees had not received their salaries for more than a year.
Suleman Was Shareholder
He claimed that PO Suleman had nothing to do with the finances because he was merely a shareholder and not the company’s owner.
The application for the bank accounts’ unfreezing was submitted by the secretaries of the firms, Abid Rasool Awan said. He claimed that since the FIA froze the bank accounts, thousands of employees of the companies—Chiniot Mines and Ramzan Sugar Mills—had not received their salaries.
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Presiding Judge Remarks
Ijaz Hassan Awan, the presiding judge, approved the application and instructed the involved banks to unfreeze the accounts.
The judge also granted a one-time exemption from personal presence requests made by PM Shehbaz and his son, former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz.
The attorney informed the court that the prime minister was on an official trip outside the nation while Hamza requested an exemption due to a medical condition.
Additional Arguments on Shehbaz And Hamza
The court postponed further proceedings until September 30 in order to hear additional arguments on Shehbaz and Hamza’s applications for acquittal.
In this instance, the court had already approved Shehbaz and Hamza’s pre-arrest interim bail.
According to Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34, and 109 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with Section 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman were arrested by the FIA in November 2020. Shehbaz and Hamza received interim bail from the trial court on June 21, 2021, the day before their initial appearance before the FIA.