PML-N Hamza Shahbaz was taken into NAB custody on Tuesday after his bail was cancelled by the Lahore High Court. He had taken back the bail petition.
This comes a day after former president Asif Ali Zardari was arrested in Islamabad after the high court cancelled his bail in a money laundering case.
Hamza, the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly, is being investigated by NAB in the Ramzan Sugar Mills, Saaf Pani and assets beyond known means of income cases. During the hearing, a NAB lawyer said that Shahbaz’s assets have increased disproportionately over the years.
He has been shifted to the NAB office. It is expected that his medical examination will be conducted too.
PML-N workers have started gathering at Lahore’s Mall Road and are expected to stage a protest.
Atta Tarrar, one of Hamza’s lawyer, said that they had withdrawn bail petitions because the lead counsel Salman Butt felt that no one was listening to them. Butt had asked NAB to give them a copy of the main document on which the case has been built. “We couldn’t argue further till we get the document,” he told SAMAA TV.
“All NAB cases are targeting members of the opposition parties,” he said. “Why aren’t investigating the Malam Jabba cases or those against Faisal Vawda? For how long will this one-sided accountability continue?”
Tarrar remarked that Hamza was smiling at the time of the arrest. He even brought clothes and a blanket with him too.
Speaking to the media, Hamza said that he will quit politics if there is a single proof of him engaging in corrupt practices.
On April 6, a NAB team had arrived at Hamza’s house in Lahore’s Model Town to arrest him. They were stopped from doing so by the Lahore High Court. His lawyer had submitted a petition in the court challenging the NAB raid at his Lahore residence on Friday. The petition said that Hamza has a court order which says that NAB should inform him 10 days in advance before arresting him. He even asked for bail in the case. The lawyer even said that NAB’s actions are contempt of court.
On November 21, 2018 the Lahore High Court had directed NAB to provide Hamza 10 days to approach the appropriate legal forum if his arrest warrants are issued.