Imran Khan may face jail trial in £190 million settlement case

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) walks after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023.  - AFP
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) walks after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023. – AFP
  • NAB arrests Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust, Toshakhana cases.
  • Considers various options to seek physical remand of Khan.
  • Notification regarding jail trial will be issued soon: Sources

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s trial in the £190 million settlement case is likely to be held in Adiala jail, where the former prime minister is currently lodged in the cipher case.

The PTI chairman was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust and Toshakhana cases a day after an accountability court in Islamabad issued his arrest warrants.

A team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) led by Assistant Directors Muhammad Asif and Waqrul Hasan visited Adiala Jail and executed the arrest warrant through the Jail Superintendent.

Earlier today, accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir was asked by journalists whether Khan would face jail trial in the compromise case as a notification is being passed in the matter.

To this, Judge Bashir replied that it is possible if the notification is approved. He said NAB can tell where the former prime minister will be produced.

“So will you also go to Adiala jail?” The judge asked questions from the journalists present in the court.

The journalists responded that they were not allowed to enter and report inside Adiala jail.

The judge assured the journalists that he would do something in the matter if the hearing was held in jail. He said the open court allows everyone to hear the hearing.

Earlier during a hearing, the judge asked the NAB prosecutor when the PTI chairman would be produced.

“Is Imran Khan in jail or has he been shifted to the police station?”. He enquired.

However, the NAB prosecutor showed lack of knowledge about the question.

Judge Bashir then directed the prosecutor to check whether any notification was issued regarding the jail case.

NAB is considering various options for physical remand

Meanwhile, sources revealed that NAB is considering various options to take physical remand of Imran Khan.

Sources said it was important to get notification from the Law Ministry for the physical remand of the former prime minister in Adiala jail.

“Notification regarding the jail trial will be issued soon,” NAB sources said. He said it is important to produce the accused in court within 24 hours of arrest.

The PTI chief has been convicted by the special court and is currently lodged in Adiala jail in the cipher case.

£190 million settlement case

The PTI chairman is accused of corruption worth billions of rupees in a case related to a property businessman.

Khan – along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders – is facing a NAB investigation related to a deal between the PTI government and a property businessman that allegedly caused a loss of £190 million to the national exchequer.

According to the allegations, Khan and other accused allegedly accommodated Rs 50 billion – £190 million at the time – sent to the Pakistani government by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of a deal with property tycoons.

He is also accused of receiving undue benefits in the form of more than 458 kanals of land in Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa for the establishment of Al Qadir University.

During the PTI government, the NCA had seized assets worth 190 million pounds of British property tycoons.

The agency said the assets would be turned over to the Government of Pakistan and that the settlement with the Pakistani property businessman “is a civil matter, and does not represent a finding of crime”.

Subsequently, then Prime Minister Khan approved the agreement with the UK crime agency from his Cabinet on December 3, 2019, without disclosing details of the confidential agreement.

It was decided that the money would be deposited in the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.

Subsequently, Al-Qadir Trust was set up in Islamabad, weeks after the PTI-led government approved the deal with the property tycoon.

Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Bushra Bibi and her close friend Farah Khan were appointed as members of the trust.

Two to three months after the cabinet approval, the property tycoon transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close aide of the PTI chief, which he later transferred to the trust.

Later, Bukhari and Awan dropped out as trustees. That trust is now registered in the names of Khan, Bushra Bibi and Farah.

NAB officials were previously investigating alleged abuse of powers in the process of recovering “dirty money” received from the UK crime agency.

The investigation was converted into an investigation after “irrefutable evidence” emerged in the case.

According to NAB officials, Khan and his wife received land worth billions of rupees from the property tycoon to build an educational institute in exchange for striking a deal to give legal cover to the property tycoon’s black money obtained from the UK crime agency.

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