NAB granted eight-day remand of Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust graft case

Islamabad: An accountability court in Islamabad granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) eight-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust graft case.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir had heard the reference against the PTI chief and reserved his verdict.

Imran Khan was arrested on Tuesday in a graft case, and presented before the accountability court at the Police Lines Headquarters in Islamabad today.

Imran’s counsels Khawaja Haris, Faisal Chaudhry, Ali Gohar, and Ali Bukhari appeared before the court.

The accountability bureau will investigate the former premier at the Police Lines. The NAB had sought Imran Khan’s 14-day remand.

At the outset of hearing, the country’s top anti-corruption body sought 14-day physical remand of the former premier.

To which Imran’s council contended that NAB has no jurisdiction in the case, adding the anti-graft watchdog also did not share inquiry report.

He maintained that a fair trial is Imran Khan’s fundamental right. “Imran Khan’s trial should be held in open court,” his counsel urged the court.

The NAB was represented by Special Prosecutor Rafay Maqsood, Deputy Prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi, Prosecutor Sardar Zulqarnain and investigation officer Mian Umar Nadeem.

NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar reported to the court that Imran Khan was shown arrest warrants at the time of his detention. He also assured Imran’s council that the necessary documentation would be provided.

“This is a corruption case which the UK’s National Crime Agency has probed,” he said, adding that the money received was meant to be transferred to the government of Pakistan.

“Instead of the government, the funds that were received were transferred to Bahria Town,” he said.

The NAB prosecutor informed the additional sessions judge Mohammad Bashir that Imran was shown warrants at the time of arrest. However, the PTI chief denied the claim, saying that he saw the arrest warrants after reaching the NAB office.

Abbasi assured the judge that all necessary documents would be provided to the PTI chief’s lawyers.

The judge allowed a break when Imran complained that the authorities did not allow his lawyers to meet him before the hearing.

The prosecutor further said Imran Khan’s aide Shahzad Akbar had briefed him about the funds in a cabinet meeting, and the then prime minister ordered to keep the record sealed.

Imran Khan disputed the prosecutor’s statement and informed the court that the warrants were not shown to him during his arrest, but rather shown when he was transferred to the NAB office.

During the hearing, Imran Khan told the court he had not gone to the washroom for 24 hours, and asked for calling his personal physician Dr Faisal.

He feared he would be meted out the same treatment as ‘Maqsood Chaprasi’, alleging people were injected something that killed them slowly.

Imran’s lawyer Khawaja Haris told the court a building was constructed on the land of Al-Qadir Trust where people were getting free education.

Meanwhile, a medical report submitted to the NAB showed that Khan has been declared fit and he did not complain of any pain to the doctors examining him.

A medical board, comprising seven doctors from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital and two doctors from the Polyclinic, examined Khan and conducted several tests.

The report submitted by the board, headed by Dr Rizwan Taj, showed that Khan’s blood pressure, sugar level, and heartbeat were normal after repeated tests.

In a related development, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked the party’s charged protestors to remain peaceful during ongoing demonstrations.

Speaking to the media outside the Police Lines Guest House in Islamabad, Qureshi told the crowd, ‘Peaceful protest is your constitutional right, keep it going. But don’t take the law into your own hands’.

He went on to say that authorities wanted to lodge fake cases against them, adding “Don’t give them the chance.”

PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that protests would take place across the country and called on the people to remain peaceful.

On Tuesday night, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) termed the arrested of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan legal in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq — who had raised questions over the Rangers’ move to arrest Khan from the court’s premises earlier in the day — announced the reserved verdict.

The IHC also issued notices to the Islamabad inspector general of police and the interior secretary over contempt of court.

The chief justice ordered the high court registrar to get a first information report (FIR) registered over the circumstances of the arrest, which included manhandling the lawyers present nearby as well as damage to the court building.

He also instructed the registrar to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by May 16.

On the other hand, 1,500 security personnel have been deployed around the Police Lines owing to the presence of the PTI chief inside.

Contingents of Rangers and FC have also been deployed along with police, while 3,000 armed police and anti-riots force has been deployed across the city.

The entry of common people into the Red Zone has been banned, while Imran Khan’s lawyers were transported to the Police Lines by a shuttle service.

The anti-corruption agency has defended the detention of Imran Khan, which took place on Tuesday inside the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), with the assistance of Rangers. The agency has justified the arrest, stating that it was lawful and carried out in full compliance with NAB regulations.

“NAB arrested former prime minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case. The case relates to illegal acquisition of land and construction for Al-Qadir University involving unlawful benefit given in recovery of prime proceeds (190 million pounds) through National Crime Agency, UK,” the statement said.

“The arrest has been made after fulfilling the lawful procedures of inquiry and investigation conducted by NAB,” the anti-graft watchdog asserted.

It said during the process of inquiry/investigation, several notices were issued to Imran Khan and his wife as they were the trustees of Al-Qadir Trust.

“However, none of the call-up notices was responded to by the former prime minister or his wife.”


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