Shehbaz Sharif freed from Kot Lakhpat jail

LAHORE: PML-N President and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has been released from Kot Lakhpat Jail a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) approved his bail in a money laundering case.

A large number of PML-N supporters welcomed the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly as he came out of the prison.

An accountability court earlier today issued a release order of Shehbaz.

“The bail bonds as per direction of the Hon’ble Lahore High Court, Lahore have been accepted by this court,” read the release order, directing the jail superintendent to free him on bail from judicial custody, if he is not required in any other case.

Earlier, The Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in the assets beyond means case after the initial order of the court was sent to the referee judge.

The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najafi, Justice Aalia Neelam and Justice Shahbaz Rizvi was hearing the bail application of the PML-N president.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi announced the verdict.

During the hearing, the court asked the NAB prosecutor to present his arguments in the case.

NAB prosecutor Faisal Raza Bukhari opposed the arguments given by Shahbaz’s lawyer Azam Nazeer Tarar.

“Yesterday, Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyers did not see that the bail was rejected after approval,” said NAB’s lawyer, at which Tarar objected.

To this, the court also told Tarar that it had issued certain directions to him.

Shahbaz’s lawyer told the court that if NAB had objections, it can issue a contempt notice to him.

Seeing the verbal scuffle between them, the bench warned that it would adjourn the hearing if both lawyers continued.

Tarar then took a back seat and the court allowed the NAB lawyer to continue with his arguments.

The NAB prosecutor told the bench that Shahbaz’s five sons and daughter are absconding.

“Suleman Shehbaz, Nusrat Shahbaz, Rabia Imran, Haroon Yousuf, Syed Tahir Naqvi and Ali Hamid are absconding,” said NAB’s lawyer Faisal Raza Bukhari.

Bukhari told the court that the high court had instructed Nusrat Shehbaz to be part of the case via her lawyer. He added that NAB does not oppose the move.

The prosecutor then told the court that NAB had sent call-up notices to the accused in the case, but no received response.

Bukhari told the bench that in 1990, Shehbaz had shown assets of Rs2.1 million and in 1998 they had risen to Rs10.48 million. He then claimed that from 2010-2018 the Model Town residence of Shehbaz was turned into a camp office for the chief minister.

Bukhari said that the opposition leader showed assets of Rs7.32 billion and all the assets were gained after 2005.

Later on, the court granted the bail.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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