An Accountability Court in Lahore on Friday indicted Nusrat Shahbaz, the wife of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, in a money laundering reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
An accountability court in Lahore has indicted Nusrat Shahbaz— the wife of Shahbaz Sharif— in the money laundering case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The Accountability Judge Naseem Virk during Friday’s hearing has charged Nusrat Shahbaz through a pleader as she is currently in London. The NAB prosecutor Usman Rashid Cheema was also present on the occasion.
Earlier in December last year, Nusrat was declared an absconder by the accountability court for her consistent absentees from hearings in the money laundering reference.
The court also accepted Shahbaz Sharif’s Lawyer plea for exemption from appearance due to his illness.
pear in person due to ill health. The court subsequently approved his request.
Shehbaz suspended all his political activities a day ago as he was advised “complete rest” by doctors after he had slipped on a staircase on Wednesday.
Money laundering case
In August 2020, the NAB had filed before an accountability court of Rs8 billion reference of money laundering against Shahbaz, his wife, his two sons, and other family members.
The reference accused Shahbaz of being a beneficiary of assets held in the name of his family members and ‘benamidars’ (ostensible owner), who had no sources to acquire such assets.
It said that the family members and ‘benamidars’ of the Shehbaz family received fake foreign remittances of billions in their personal bank accounts.
In addition to these remittances, NAB accused that billions of rupees were laundered in the name of foreign pay orders which were deposited in the personal bank accounts of Hamza and Suleman.
The reference further said that Shahbaz’s family had failed to justify the sources of funds that were used for the acquisition of those assets.
It added that the suspects committed offenses of corruption and these corrupt practices are listed under the provisions of National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. The reference asked the accountability court to try the suspects and punish them under the law.
With the continuation of case proceedings, the accountability court had in December also issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nusrat before declaring her absconder for not appearing before the court. The warrant was challenged in the Lahore High Court and the LHC a day later ordered the NAB not to take coercive measures against Nusrat.
In March, the LHC bench headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar had set aside an order of the accountability court wherein Nusrat had been declared an absconder.