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Saturday June 15, 2024

NCA scandal case: Bushra Bibi's 'no confidence' on judge leads to no testimony of witnesses

Bushra Bibi retracts "lack of faith" motion against judge after consultations with Imran Khan, PTI lawyers

By Shabbir Dar
May 17, 2024
Pakistans former prime minister, Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi at the LHC in Lahore on July 17, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan's former prime minister, Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi at the LHC in Lahore on July 17, 2023. — AFP

RAWALPINDI: The hearing of the £190m NCA scandal case witnessed unusual scenes at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Friday as incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi expressed her lack of confidence in the accountability court’s judge.

At the beginning of the hearing, Bushra Bibi came to the rostrum and expressed a lack of faith in the accountability court’s judge.

As the accountability court began the hearing, the former first lady entered the courtroom in aggressive mode and sat separately from the ex-prime minister, his sisters and her daughters.

Later, she came to the rostrum and told the judge that she was neither having faith in the judges who were hearing previous cases nor she had confidence in this court. She complained about not being informed about a hearing scheduled for May 15 at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

The judge remarked that the May 15 hearing was deferred.

Bushra Bibi went on to say that she was not a prisoner in the NCA scandal case but she was jailed due to “injustice”.

After Bushra’s remarks, Imran came to the rostrum and asked his spouse to go with him to the family corner.

However, she chose not to meet even her daughters who were sitting next to Imran’s sisters. She met her daughters when a separate room was given to them.

During the hearing, the PTI founder kept going towards his lawyers, wife, sisters and lawyers in the courtroom. He was also seen whispering to his wife many times.

The former premier and his lawyers sought time from the accountability court to convince Bushra Bibi to take back her expression of lacking faith in the judge. The hearing was stopped thrice following the lawyers’ requests.

After detailed discussions, Imran and his lawyers apprised the judge to take back lack of confidence remarks. They also pleaded with the court to conduct the next hearing after 15 days, as well as submitted a plea in response to the court notices issued yesterday.

The court then adjourned the hearing till May 22 without testifying any of the witnesses today.

Speaking to journalists outside Adiala Jail, PTI lawyer Naeem Panjutha confirmed that Bushra Bibi expressed a lack of faith in the judge in today’s hearing over a slow-paced trial.

He said that the PTI founder demanded to conduct his medical tests at Shaukat Khanum Hospital. Panjutha alleged that Pims doctors had prepared fake “self-generated reports” of the incarcerated former premier.

He also confirmed that Bushra Bibi also refused to allow Pims doctors for her medical examination.

The lawyer claimed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wants to file a new reference against Imran.

In the previous development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) approved the PTI founder's bail petition in the £190 million NCA settlement reference on Wednesday. The high court ordered the authorities to release the PTI founder against the surety bond of Rs1 million.

NCA scandal

In December last year, NAB filed a £190 million NCA reference against Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi and others.

The other accused named in the reference are Farhat Shezadi (Farah Gogi), Mirza Shehzad Akbar, Zulfi Bukhari and others.

In the reference, the NAB Rawalpindi said that accused persons in connivance with each other have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined and punishable under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.