The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued a press release denying the news that it had decided to withdraw the money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz.
According to the statement, the case has not been withdrawn, and court proceedings are still ongoing, with the next hearing scheduled for May 14th.
Earlier, on Thursday, a section of media, including mainstream outlets, reported that the FIA had decided not to pursue the money laundering case against PM Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman.
It was reported that the Special Court Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan had issued the written order at the request of the prosecutor of the case, Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem who had claimed that the Director General of the FIA, and other FIA officials had told him not to appear in court, as the FIA was ‘not interested’ in pursuing the case.
However, the statement mentioned that the application submitted by Saleem was after he had been asked to not come in as a prosecutor, claiming that in reality, Saleem had just been asked to not appear as the prosecutor, as opposed to it being a withdrawal of the case.
The statement also claimed that changing of prosecutors was a ‘routine’ thing, and it had happened a few times during the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government too, on the very same case.
In November 2020, the FIA had booked Shehbaz Sharif and his two sons Hamza and Suleman, in connection to their involvement in the laundering of Rs. 16 billion in the sugar scam case.
The FIA had unearthed 28 hidden accounts of Shehbaz Sharif’s that were allegedly involved in transferring this sum of money from the accounts of low-income employees, to the hidden accounts outside Pakistan.
This money was then allegedly used for the benefit of the Sharif family.