LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday remanded Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for 14 more days.
The court directed the anti-graft watchdog to produce the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader on next hearing on July 10.
During the hearing of the assets beyond means case, Hamza’s lawyer contended that the bureau has been carrying out investigation against his client since April. Whenever NAB summoned the PML-N leader, he appeared before it, he added.
“Why hasn’t NAB been able to gather material against my client yet,” he questioned, opposing the bureau’s plea to extend his remand.
He contended that a person can’t be arrested on the ground that he doesn’t have wealth statement.
The counsel argued that neither Hamza nor his family were in power when the companies in question were set up. “All of their assets were declared in tax returns of 2008,” he said, adding that Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has entire record of the companies set up by the Sharif family.
A NAB prosecutor contended that the anti-graft watchdog has obtained record of Hamza’s assets from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Hamza’s family owned assets worth Rs50 million in 2005, which grew manifold in the following years, he said, adding the opposition leader failed to provide money trail of how these assets increased.
He said the FBR didn’t have record of the suspect’s wealth acquired between 2006 and 2009. During this period, the prosecutor said, Hamza set up five new companies and invested RS190 million, money trail of which has not been provided.