LAHORE: The accountability court on Tuesday sought an argument from Shahbaz Sharif’s legal advisers on June 3 about a petition filed by the Shahbaz family who sought the release of their assets.
Previously, the National Accountability Bureau had sent its answers in this regard. NAB in its response stated that an investigation into money laundering of Shahbaz Sharif, Salman Shahbaz, Hamza Shahbaz and others was ongoing. NAB said Shahbaz made assets in the name of his wife. However, the family failed to reveal their source of income. The NAB said it was mandatory under the Finance and Money Laundering Laws to disclose sources of income.
On the other hand, Shahbaz’s family has moved the court against NAB’s actions to freeze their assets, arguing that freezing assets during the investigation process is illegal. After receiving the NAB answer, the Jawadul Hassan court called the two parties to debate on May 5.
It is important to mention here that on December 11, 2019, the accountability court confirmed the order of the Lahore National Accountability Bureau to freeze property owned by PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza Shahbaz and Salman Shahbaz and other family members in connection with an investigation involving income involving income beyond ability and money laundering. The court in his order observed that the proportion of “Shahbaz’s family wealth from 2003 to 2018 prima facie was not proportional to the known source of income of the accused, which has not been explained by the defendant”. The ruling stated: “At this stage, even the provisions of the Act on Protection of Economic Reform, 1992, will not help the accused parties unless the source of the payment is disclosed by them.”
The order stated that the NAB order towards the Shahbaz family was supported by statements given by people who agreed with Muhammad Mushtaq, aka Cheeni, Yasir Mushtaq, Shahid Rafique and Aftab Mehmood. The Shahbaz family can file an objection to a court order within 14 days.
Earlier, on December 3, NAB had issued an order to freeze 23 properties belonging to Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza, Salman and other family members, all accused of accumulating assets beyond their means.