- The court questioned the FIA officials on the investigation of the case.
- Suleman’s lawyer says that the case is baseless.
- The FIA says it acted in the light of the Chinese commission of inquiry.
Lahore: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son Sulaiman Shahbaz and all other accused in a Rs 16 billion money laundering case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were on Monday acquitted by a special court in Lahore.
The court orders came after hearing petitions by Suleman and others seeking their acquittal in the case. During the hearing, the Prime Minister’s son was present in the courtroom along with his lawyer Amjad Parvez.
After completing four years of self-exile in London, Suleiman Pakistan returned home In December last year. He was not only made an accused in the above case, but he was also named in the disproportionate assets case. He was also declared a proclaimed offender in both the cases.
Prior to his arrival, the Islamabad High Court restrained both the FIA and the NAB from arresting him.
The FIA cited lack of evidence this January and acquitted him in the sugar mill case.
Meanwhile, the FIA has filed answers to 27 questions related to the case in the court.
Judge Bakht Fakhar Behzad inquired about the people involved in the interrogation money laundering case, The counsel for the FIA told the court that the investigation was conducted by a joint investigation team headed by late FIA officer Dr. Muhammad Rizwan.
When the judge questioned whether the FIA had recorded the statement of any witness during the entire investigation, the investigating officer of the agency remained silent.
When asked by the court whether any action was taken against those who kept changing their statements during interrogation, the FIA officer replied in the negative.
Proceeding further, the judge asked if there was any evidence in the FIA’s seven volumes of evidence. “Tell me straight, don’t make up stories, I have read everything. I will send all FIA men to jail now, remember this. I want answers, what was the proof of crime with the challan?”
Suleman’s lawyer said that the case was baseless and he spoke against it. After this, the court asked that under whose pressure the case was registered.
The prosecutor said that there was no direct evidence and in the light of the form used to open the account, Suleman Shahbaz was declared an accused.
The court inquired about the jurisdiction of the FIA officer to investigate the matter. He replied that this inquiry was done under the Money Laundering Act.
The court asked him whether any institution had complained to him regarding remittance of money. The prosecutor said that the FIA has powers to investigate money laundering.
The former FIA official said the agency acted in the light of the Chinese commission of inquiry.
When the court asked about the number of sugar mills involved in the case, the former FIA official said that investigations were carried out against all the sugar mills in Pakistan. He said that the previous federal government had asked to take action against the sugar mills of Jahangir Tareen, Khusro family and Sharif family.
After this, the court asked what action was taken against the Khusro family and Jahangir Tarin. The former FIA officer said that he is not the investigator of these cases, so cannot tell.
Later the court acquitted all the accused including Suleman. money laundering case,
Speaking to the media outside the court, the prime minister’s son said the case went on for seven years. “Thanks to Allah, the truth has come in front of the people, today by the grace of Allah, we are absolved.”