Thursday, March 30, 2023

Hamza Shehbaz submits acquittal petition in Ramzan Sugar Mills reference

Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, petitioned an accountability court for clearing in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Hamza argued in his Monday plea that the reference against him had become ineffective as a result of modifications to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), and there was no likelihood of his conviction.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed the reference against Hamza for allegedly obtaining public monies to construct a drain to facilitate the Ramzan Sugar Mills.

“The NAB’s referral is based on malevolent and political motivations and was issued at the direction of the current government,” Hamza stated in his submissions.

In his referral, he requested that the accountability court exonerate him, claiming that the corruption watchdog could not substantiate any charges against him.

“Neither Ramzan Sugar Mills nor any private entity owns the waterway,” he noted.

The NAB stated in its reference that Hamza’s father, also President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif, directed the construction of a drain in Chiniot district during his stint as Punjab chief minister for his sons’ Ramzan Sugar Mills.

According to the bureau, the Sharif family inflicted an Rs213 million loss to the national exchequer “fraudulently and dishonestly.”

Continue reading: Ramzan Sugar Mills case: The AC notes Hamza Shehbaz’s absence from the hearing

The NAB asserted that it possessed “enough incriminating” evidence and material throughout the investigation against them and asked the court to try and punish Hamza and Shehbaz. However, in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case, both father and son pled not guilty.

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