Lahore court acquits PM Shehbaz, son Hamza Shahbaz in money laundering case

Court accepts PM Shehbaz, others co-accused's plea for acquittal as NAB fails to present any evidence

Shahid Hussain
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) and his son Hamza Shahbaz. — Reuters/Twitter/File
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) and his son Hamza Shahbaz. — Reuters/Twitter/File

LAHORE: In a major development, an accountability court in Lahore on Thursday accepted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz's plea for acquittal in a Rs7 billion money laundering case.

The court acquitted the prime minister along with all the co-accused, including Hamza, Nusrat Shehbaz (wife), Javeria Ali (PM's daughter), Muhammad Usman, Masroor Anwar, Shoaib Qamar, Qasim Qayyum, Rashid Karamat, Ali Ahmed and Nisar Ahmed, except for one. 

The court, however, issued a perpetual arrest warrant for PM Shehbaz's daughter Rabia Imran, who had been declared absconder in the case.

The accused had filed petitions seeking acquittal, basing their argument on NAB's inability to present any evidence against them.

The NAB investigators also confirmed that no evidence was found.

While announcing the verdict reserved earlier this month, the court said that it had no other choice except to acquit the accused, as NAB has said that it did not have anything against them.

The anti-graft watchdog had filed the reference for the inquiry underway since 2018, in August 2020, when PM Shehbaz served as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

He was arrested by NAB after the Lahore High Court rejected his bail in the case on September 29.

An accountability court indicted the prime minister, Hamza, and others accused after over a month on November 11, 2020.

However, the prime minister was released on bail in April 2021.