Pakistan arrests Shehbaz Sharif in 14-billion dollar housing scam case

Oct 07, 2018, 08:05 IST | Agencies

Held for alleged misappropriations in Ashiana Housing Scheme in Lahore during his CM tenure

Pakistan arrests Shehbaz Sharif in 14-billion dollar housing scam case
(Centre) Shehbaz Sharif at a polling station earlier this year. Pic/AFP

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was arrested by the country's anti-corruption body on Friday in a $14 billion housing scam case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said that Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, was detained for his alleged misappropriations in Ashiana Housing Scheme in Lahore during his tenure as the Punjab province Chief Minister from 2013 to 2018, Geo News reported.

The bureau had launched a probe into the scandal after the housing scheme for poor people failed due to alleged corruption. The NAB said that the younger brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be presented before the accountability court on Saturday. The body is expected to seek Shehbaz Sharif's remand. He will be kept in a highly-secured lock-up inside the NAB Lahore office until his appearance in court, according to Dawn online.

Earlier in the day, Shehbaz Sharif appeared before the NAB authorities to record his statement in the scam, but he was detained after he failed to satisfy the Combined Investigation Team of the bureau with his answers to the queries. The accountability watchdog alleged that the leader was involved in corruption by providing contracts on high rates to unqualified companies of his friends, reports say.

Sharif's defence lawyer rejected the NAB's assertions as "baseless". Supporters of the PML-N started gathering outside the NAB office to protest. PML-N leader Rana Sana Ullah termed the arrest as a "political victimisation", saying that they will use their legal rights to defend their leader as there is no solid proof against him.

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