Thursday May 12 2022
Web Desk

FIA terms withdrawal of cases against PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza 'fake news'

Web Desk
Logo of the FIA. — FIA website
Logo of the FIA. — FIA website

  • FIA spokesperson says agency may legally proceed against persons involved in spreading the "fake news”.
  • Says “change of prosecutor is a routine matter and was done several times during PTI government.
  • The FIA said that the proceedings are continuing in the court with the next hearing scheduled for May 14.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday termed the news story related to the withdrawal of cases against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others as “fake news”.

The agency’s spokesperson, in a statement, said that the FIA had registered the case and it has not been withdrawn.

The FIA said that the proceedings are continuing in the court, with the next hearing scheduled for May 14.

“Hence, it is fake news. FIA may legally proceed against the persons involved in spreading this fake news,” said the spokesperson.

The FIA said that on April 11, the prosecutor had submitted his opinion-based application in the court regarding a change of the prosecutor wherein he was instructed not to appear on behalf of the prosecution. 

It added that the prosecutor had alleged that the director-general of the  FIA, via the investigation officer, had asked him not to appear before the court, adding that “it was not a withdrawal application anyway”.

“On 11-04-2022, Mr Sanaullah Abbasi was the DG FIA. At the time of submission of the application, the new PM had not yet taken the oath. Tahir RAI was posted as DG FIA on 22-04-2022. This matter pertains to the timing before his arrival in FIA,” said the FIA.

The agency said that the “change of prosecutor is a routine matter” and added that the government lawyer was also changed several times during the PTI government.

“It is requested that fake news may not be spread in this matter,” said the spokesperson.

FIA decides not to pursue money laundering case against PM Shehbaz, CM Hamza

FIA has decided not to pursue a money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others.

Special judge central Ijaz Hassan Awan said the request submitted by the FIA’s prosecution team has been made a part of the record. He also issued a written order on their request.

The court said that after the hearing on April 11, the FIA had submitted a petition stating that the concerned authorities are no more interested in the trial. “Director-General FIA has decided not to appear in the court against Shehbaz Sharif,” FIA’s special prosecutor said.

“… Usman Riaz Gill, advocate appeared and filed a written application intimating that DG FIA through [investigation officer] of this case conveyed to Mr Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem, Advocate learned Special Prosecutor not to appear in this case as the accused in the case are going to elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chief Minister of the province of Punjab and the concerned quarters are not interested to prosecute the accused persons,” the order read.

“Request is made to place said petition on the record. Said application is accordingly taken on the record and be annexed with the case,” the document read.

Court to indict Shehbaz, Hamza on May 14

On the last hearing, the FIA's special court issued an order that it will indict PM Shehbaz and CM Punjab Hamza.

The special court had to indict the father-son duo and others allegedly involved in the case in April, but due to the absence of PM Shehbaz, the process was delayed.

In the last hearing on April 27, the premier did not appear before the court and, as a result, in its written order, the special court summoned him, Hamza, and all the other suspects on May 14.

"It is being made clear to all the parties that on the next hearing, we will indict them [...] all the suspects should ensure their attendance," the special court's order had said.

The court had noted that it could not indict the suspects in the last hearing due to the absence of the prime minister.