Nawaz acquitted in Flagship reference on technical grounds: Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said that former Prime Minister had been acquitted by an accountability court in the Flagship Investment corruption case only on technical grounds. Speaking to the media in Islamabad hours after accountability court sentenced Sharif to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia corruption case, the information minister said the court acquitted the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid in the other corruption reference because his sons were yet to appear before the court. "[Sharif's] children proved to be so unworthy that they did not even appear [in court] for their father's defense," Chaudhry told reporters. "Nawaz cannot be arrested until Hasan Nawaz is sentenced." "The children of a three-time prime minister have taken the position that they are not Pakistani citizens," he added. The information minister congratulated the nation for the recent accountability court's verdict against Nawaz. "Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's birthday is coming in a day. Jinnah has always spoken against financial malpractices," he said. "Today mafias are being unveiled." Chaudhry called the accountability court's decision, 'historic'. "In 1992 a law was made that the source of money won't be asked for the funds coming from abroad, but according to the NAB law section 9 its mandatory to prove the source of income," he said. Chaudhry said that Nawaz failed to give money trail to the parliament or before the court of law. "Fake companies were made for money laundering," he added. 'Sindh CM involved in money laundering' The information minister accused Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah of being involved in money laundering. "Zardari has looted 35 percent of the Rs2,000 billion provincial developmental budget," the information minister said in reference to the recent JIT report submitted to the Supreme Court on money laundering case. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on accountability Shehzad Akbar said that a Senate US committee has made Zardari's corruption and money laundering a test case. "We should commend the probe. The 800-900 word JIT has exposed customs department in Sindh. Even a fake bank was made to get contracts," he said. Akbar said that as many as Rs9 billion were deposited in the fake bank through fake accounts. "No substantive action was taken on fake accounts case from 2015-17. The FIA started investigations on the case from December 2017," he said. The JIT detected 59 suspicious transactions in interview with 924 people, the cabinet member said. Akbar said that the report mentions a man named, Mushtaq, who takes model Ayyan Ali to airport. The man was given a 12 grade government job when Zardari became president. "When we asked about Mushtaq we were told that he is Zardari's masseur," he remarked. "The Sindh government gives special subsidy to the Omni group. The group recieved loans from National Bank and Sindh Bank on the name of fake companies."
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