Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif testified at a special hearing in the PKR16 billion money laundering case against him on Saturday that he refused to take any salary when he was the province’s chief minister. of Punjab, and called himself a majnoo for it.
Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman were arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Hamza is currently the chief minister of Punjab province, while Suleman is on the run and residing in the UK.
The FIA investigation detected 28 Benami accounts, allegedly from the Shehbaz family, through which an amount of PKR 14 billion (USD 75 million) was laundered from 2008 to 2018.
The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.
The amount was kept in hidden accounts and given to Shehbaz personally, according to the charges.
I haven’t taken anything from the government in 12.5 years, and in this case I am charged with laundering Rs 2.5 million, Shehbaz said during the hearing.
God made me the prime minister of this country. I’m a majnoo (fool) and haven’t taken my legal right, salary and benefits, Dawn newspaper quoted Dawn newspaper as saying.
He recalled that the secretary sent him a note for sugar exports during his tenure as chief minister of Punjab, when he set an export limit and rejected the notes, according to the report.
Shehbaz became chief minister of Punjab in 1997 when his brother Nawaz was prime minister.
After General Pervez Musharraf’s 1999 coup toppled the Nawaz Sharif government, Shehbaz and his family spent eight years in exile in Saudi Arabia before returning to Pakistan in 2007.
He served as chief minister of Punjab for the second term in 2008 and he landed the same slot for the third time in 2013.
My family lost 2 billion PKR because of my decision. I tell you the truth. When setting up my son’s ethanol production plant, I still decided to impose a tax on ethanol. My family lost 800 million PKR per year because of this decision. The previous government withdrew the notification saying it was an injustice to sweets, he claimed.
The Prime Minister’s lawyer argued that the laundering case was politically motivated and based on bad faith intentions of the former government led by Imran Khan.
At the previous hearing on May 21, the special court issued arrest warrants for Suleman, in the case after extending temporary bail for Shehbaz and Hamza until May 28.
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