Pakistani High Court Reserves Verdict on Imran Khan's Corruption Case Bail Application

Islamabad High Court reserved its verdict on former PM Khan's bail plea in a corruption case where he's accused of receiving bribe land worth billions of rupees. The National Accountability Bureau investigated the acquisition of hundreds of canals of land under Al Qadir University Trust, leading to a reported loss of 190 million pounds to the exchequer. The bail plea hearing featured arguments from NAB's special prosecutor and questions from the bench regarding evidence and out-of-court settlements. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court allowed Khan to appear via video link in a hearing related to the NAB amendment case, which he challenged in 2022.

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 14-05-2024 20:32 IST | Created: 14-05-2024 20:32 IST
Pakistani High Court Reserves Verdict on Imran Khan's Corruption Case Bail Application
  • Country:
  • Pakistan

A High Court in Pakistan on Tuesday reserved its verdict on Imran Khan's bail plea in the 190 million pounds corruption case, in which the jailed former prime minister and his wife are accused of receiving land worth billions of rupees as a bribe from a real estate tycoon.

In December last year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) initiated an investigation against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi, and others in a case of alleged acquisition of hundreds of canals of land under the name of Al Qadir University Trust, resulting in a reported loss of 190 million pounds to the exchequer.

A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court reserved the verdict after the completion of arguments, Geo News reported.

During the hearing, the NAB's special prosecutor, Amjad Parvez, said, "According to the documents, the money could not have been transferred without the permission of the National Crime Agency." "You don't have any documentation of this; it's all verbal talk. You were earlier asked if you have the order of freezing or de-freezing [the accounts]. You said you don't have any of those documents," said Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, replying to Parvez.

The NAB lawyer was questioned about evidence of out-of-court settlements by both the judges, according to the report.

In his bail application in November last year, Khan alleged that the NAB, while acting as a tool of the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, used the case to harass him on political grounds.

The Al-Qadir Trust case is about the settlement of 190 million pounds, about Rs 50 billion, which the UK's National Crime Agency sent to Pakistan after recovering the amount from a Pakistani property tycoon.

Being the prime minister then, Khan, instead of depositing in the national treasury, allowed the businessman to use the amount to partly settle a fine of about Rs 450 billion imposed by the Supreme Court some years ago.

Reportedly, the tycoon, in return, gifted about 57 acres of land to a trust set up by Khan and Bushra Bibi to establish the Al-Qadir University in the Sohawa area of the Jhelum district of Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Khan to appear via video link in the next hearing of the NAB amendment case on May 16.

During the case hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa instructed the government to ensure video link arrangements for the former-cricketer-turned-politician to join proceedings of the case.

In September 2023, a three-member bench of the apex court approved Khan's petition challenging amendments made to the country's accountability laws during the tenure of the previous PDM-led government.

The coalition government had made several changes in the NAB ordinance of 1999 through the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022, which Khan challenged in June 2022.

These included reducing the term of the NAB chairman and prosecutor general to three years, limiting the anti-graft watchdog's jurisdiction to cases involving over Rs 500 million, and transferring all pending inquiries, investigations, and trials to the relevant authorities.

The PTI founder claimed that the changes to the NAB law were made to benefit the influential accused persons and legitimise corruption.

Khan has been lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi since August last year.

Since his removal from power in a no-confidence motion in April 2022, Khan has been convicted in at least four cases, including the cipher (secret diplomatic communication) case.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback