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May 16, 2019

LHC grants bail to PTI’s Aleem Khan

Top Story

May 16, 2019

By News Desk

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Abdul Aleem Khan in offshore companies and assets beyond means case. The bail was granted against surety bonds of Rs10 million.

A division bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the post-arrest bail petition filed by Aleem Khan. On the last hearing, the bench had directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to establish at least a prima facie case, and gave two days for bringing any statements of witnesses examined by it, after defence counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued the bureau failed to establish a case against his client.

As the proceedings started on Wednesday, the NAB prosecutor submitted Khan was imprisoned in jail on judicial remand. He read statements of witnesses in connection with the case, saying Khan did not show actual price of his 900 kanal land and understated the amount.

At this, the court observed Khan had already mentioned these details in his assets. “Can you inform the court about the sources used for purchase of the land,” it questioned. To which, the prosecutor replied that amounts were transferred to Khan’s accounts from foreign countries but he failed to justify them. He submitted these amounts were illegal, saying Khan’s father and mother did not have any sources in Pakistan as they were government servants. He further submitted the PTI leader’s accountant had admitted in his statement that the money was sent abroad through illegal means. The prosecutor alleged that Khan also failed to explain the source of Rs 500 million, and submitted a report of his income and expenses.

In response to a bench query, the bureau official told the court that final report was being prepared and it would be sent to the NAB chairman.

The PTI leader’s counsel submitted he did not want to comment about the NAB report regarding income and expenses of his client as it was not signed by any NAB officer. He submitted the land referred by the bureau was purchased within a period of four years.

The counsel said if the NAB wanted to prove that the property had higher worth then the bureau would have to submit evidence as a case could not be made out on mere statements of the witnesses. The counsel said Khan never remained an absconder in the matter and pleaded the bench to grant bail to his client.

In response to a court query about investigation status, the prosecutor submitted it was in progress and no time could be given for its completion.

After hearing arguments of both the sides the court reserved the verdict and reassembled after a short time to announce only that Aleem Khan had been granted bail in the case.

It may be mentioned here that the NAB had arrested the PTI leader on charges of acquiring assets beyond means on February 6, when he appeared before the NAB

team at its regional headquarters in connection with the case.

The bureau had alleged that the PTI leader failed to satisfy about his offshore companies and assets. Khan remained on physical remand till March 5 and he was sent to jail on judicial remand by an accountability court

while rejecting the NAB request for further physical remand. Soon after his arrest, Khan resigned from the post of Punjab local government minister and sent his resignation to the provincial chief minister.

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