ISLAMABAD: Suleman Shehbaz, the son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was granted a 14-day protective bail on Tuesday by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the money laundering case.

As soon as Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up Suleman’s petition for bail in the case, he turned himself up before the high court. On December 11, when the IHC prohibited the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB from detaining him in the case, he left London and began a four-year exile in Pakistan.

Suleman has been living in London since 2018, when he left Pakistan after attending a few sessions after the NAB and FIA filed various charges against him in advance of the general election. Due to his absence from court appearances, he had been labelled a fugitive.

Suleman criticised Imran Khan, the former prime minister, for political victimisation of the Sharif family and PML-N politicians while speaking to the media outside the high court. In reference to the Daily Mail’s since-retracted charges, he said Shahzad Akbar had been travelling to the UK under Mr. Khan’s direction to involve the Sharif family in fictitious legal proceedings. Additionally, he charged the PTI leader of extorting retired Justice Javed Iqbal, a former chairman of the NAB, to tighten the noose on the opposition parties at the time.

He also poked fun at the former premier for selling a pricey watch he received as a gift from the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, accusing Mr. Khan of enormous corruption during his term.

The son of PM Shehbaz announced his intention to return from exile on December 7 and submitted a petition to the IHC asking for protected bail in the case. The FIA had initiated a case against me while I was overseas, but despite having been in the UK since October 27th, 2018, I had never received a notification from them. Even though I left the country in 2018, the case wasn’t filed until 2020 and afterwards. He stated in his plea that a two-week protective bail should be established by the court.

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