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Shehbaz Sharif , Hamza Shehbaz indicted in Ramzan Sugar Mills case

LAHORE, August 6: An accountability court indicted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills case on Thursday.
Both the PML-N leaders appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty to all charges read out by Accountability Judge Amjad Nazir Chaudhry, terming them baseless.
The PML-N president told the judge that he is being dragged into a fake case as he has always worked with honesty.
At the start of the hearing, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, through his counsel, requested the court that he be excused from the hearing as he needed to be in Islamabad for the joint session of the Parliament to be held today. However, the court told Shehbaz that he should stay as he would be indicted.
Later, Shehbaz, during the hearing, also told the court that he may be a “sinner” but he never left any stone unturned in serving the people, adding that he had done so for 10 years.
“Prosecution may say whatever it wants but they know in their hearts what the truth is,” said the former chief minister. He added that neither did he take travel allowance nor did he claim any petrol for his car whilst performing duties.
“I have launched projects worth trillions of rupees for the development and welfare of the people and have brought in trillions of rupees investment for the economic stability of our country,” he added.
The former chief minister, while further defending the spending he did in his tenure, said that he saved Rs100 billion in the Orange Line project and told the court that he could give many more examples.
The court after indicting the accused, asked the lawyers of the defendants to submit their response on the next hearing. The hearing of the case was adjourned till August 27. The court also summoned NAB’s witnesses in the case at the next hearing.
The NAB has filed a reference accusing Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz and others for causing losses to the national exchequer and misusing authority by sanctioning construction of a bridge to facilitate the sugar mills.
The NAB officials say Shehbaz Sharif, being chief minister of Punjab, misused his authority by issuing directives for the construction of a 10-kilometer-long drain in Chiniot primarily to benefit the sugar mill owned by his sons. Shehbaz and Hamza have been accused of fraudulently causing a Rs213 million loss to the national exchequer. -TLTP

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