Hamza Shahbaz’s bail extended till April 25

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday extended pre-arrest bail for Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz till April 25 and restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting him.

A NAB team seeking Hamza’s arrest was embroiled in a nearly five-hour-long standoff with his private security and supporters at his family’s Model Town residence on April 6. It was the second day in a row that the NAB had approached his residence for his arrest. The stalemate ended once the LHC restrained the bureau from arresting the MPA and granted him protective bail until April 8, before extending it to April 17.

In today’s hearing, the NAB lawyer told the court that the bureau’s replies in the Saaf Pani case, the Ramazan Sugar Mills case and the money laundering case had been submitted.

The defendant’s lawyer argued that he had not been provided proper copies of the reply. “The copies we got are not readable. Had we had proper copies we would have submitted our response to the replies today,” the lawyer said.

The bench, after calling Hamza to the rostrum, extended his bail till April 25.

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