Monday May 27, 2024

NAB arrests Imran in £190m, Toshakhana cases

Earlier, Accountability Court Judge issued arrest warrants for Imran Khan in Toshakhana and £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case

By Asim Yasin & Khalid Iqbal & News Desk & Shakeel Anjum
November 14, 2023
Former prime minister Imran Khan sits during a gathering with the party workers in Lahore in this image released on April 22, 2023. — Facebook/Imran Khan
Former prime minister Imran Khan sits during a gathering with the party workers in Lahore in this image released on April 22, 2023. — Facebook/Imran Khan 

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested in Al-Qadir Trust case also on Monday when a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team, led by Assistant Director Muhammad Asif and Waqarul Hasan visited District Jail (Adiala) Rawalpindi and executed arrest warrants through the jail superintendent, sources said here.

Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi said execution of the arrest warrants meant that the former PM had been arrested, but he would be investigated in jail by a NAB team after obtaining his physical remand from a court of law.

Earlier, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir issued arrest warrants for Imran Khan in Toshakhana and £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case. The court also ordered Adiala jail superintendent to take legal steps to ensure compliance with the warrants.

NAB had filed an application to comply with the arrest warrants of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman. Deputy Prosecutor General NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, Prosecutor Irfan Bhola, Investigation Officers Mohsin, Waqarul Hasan, Mian Umar Nadeem and others appeared before the court.

During the hearing, the judge asked what the high court had done in the case. The prosecutor replied the court neither suspended the order nor issued a standing order. The prosecutor prayed for issuing arrest warrants for Imran Khan and directing the Adiala jail superintendent to take immediate action.

Imran Khan was provided with a copy of the warrants as well as briefed about reasons for his arrest.

The PTI chief is in Adiala jail currently after he was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on August 5. He was moved to the prison on Sept 26 from Attock jail where he was initially kept after his arrest.

NAB had launched an investigation against Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and others for the alleged gains of hundreds of canals of land in the name of Al-Qadir University Trust, which reportedly caused a loss of £190 million to the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, the NAB Rawalpindi Combined Investigation Team (CIT) Monday interrogated Bushra Bibi, wife of former premier Imran Khan, in £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA), UK, case and investigated her role in Al-Qadir University Trust. The CIT had summoned Bushra and Farhat Shahzadi (Farah Gogi) for Monday in £190 million case. Bushra appeared before the CIT, but Farhat Shahzadi failed to comply with the orders. The CIT interrogated Bushra for around an hour and 45 minutes about Al-Qadir University Trust matters and also handed her questionnaire containing 11 questions about the case.

According to sources, the CIT asked Bushra Bibi about her academic qualifications. She was asked whether she had done any courses in Islamic teachings and jurisprudence, and what was the purpose of creating Al-Qadir Trust University. Sources said it was asked in the questionnaire whether she fulfilled her responsibilities as a teacher as well as a trustee of Al-Qadir Trust. It was also asked from Bushra if she receives any salary or benefits from the university as a trustee or a teacher. It was asked whose idea it was to establish Al-Qadir University Trust, and who determined the location for the trust building. “What is the purpose of forming Al Qadir University Trust,” it was asked from her. She was also asked about her responsibilities as a trustee in Al-Qadir University.

Sources said through the questionnaire, Bushra Bibi was asked about the role of Malik Riaz and Bahria Town in creation of the trust. “Whether you contacted Malik Riaz or he expressed interest himself,” the questionnaire said.

The CIT also asked Bushra how she knew Farhat Shahzadi and what was status of her relationship with that woman. “Are you satisfied with their financial matters,” it was asked from Bushra Bibi. She was asked whether it was in her knowledge that the land 240-kanal in Islamabad was transferred in the name Farhat Shahzadi by the private housing society.

Sources said it was also asked from her whether she knew about acknowledgement of donation deed, signed on March 24, 2021 and about the original documents of donation deed.

Bushra Bibi’s lawyer Naeem Panjutha told the media outside the NAB office that he was called in the Al-Qadir Trust case. He said Bushra Bibi was already on bail in that case till Nov 15. He said, “we were made to sit in a room for 45 minutes, but the investigation team members did not show up.”

He said Bushra Bibi was questioned in a separate room. He said she was a trustee in Al-Qadir Trust, but she did not take any financial benefit from transfer of the property and she doesn’t have a bank account. He said all questions were answered, and Bushra Bibi fully cooperated in investigation. She was given a questionnaire containing about 11 questions.

Separately, the caretaker federal cabinet approved on Monday the jail trial of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

The cabinet gave its assent to the summary by the law ministry regarding former prime minister and foreign minister’s trial in Adiala jail due to security concerns.

In its summary, the ministry wrote that it had issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the jail trial on August 29, which was requested by the interior ministry and Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain.

“The jail trial was requested for the PTI chairman keeping in view the security concerns,” said the summary.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear an intra-court appeal, filed by Khan against the jail trial on Tuesday (today). The court had sought arguments from the attorney general.

The former prime minister had moved the IHC against the jail trial, which was rejected by the court’s single bench on October 16.

The single bench, led by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, announced no apparent malice behind conducting Khan’s jail trial in the cipher case, the court’s verdict read and directed him to approach the trial court if reservations persist. Later, Khan filed an intra-court appeal against the single bench’s decision.

In August this year, Khan and Qureshi were booked under the Official Secrets Act 1923 in the cipher case after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) invoked Section 5 of the said law.

The diplomatic cable reportedly went missing from Imran’s possession. According to the former ruling party, the cable contained a threat from the United States to topple the PTI government.

Imran and Qureshi have been indicted by the special court and are currently incarcerated in Adiala jail in the cipher case.