Court quashes Imran’s bail plea in £190 million settlement case

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An accountability court in Islamabad on Thursday quashed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s pre-arrest bail plea in illegal transfer of 190 million pounds in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Judge Muhammad Bashir heard the case while the PTI chairman and his wife Bushra Bibi’s legal Khawaja Haris appeared before the court.

During the hearing, Khawaja Haris filed a petition seeking exemption from the hearing in both cases citing various legal precedents from the Supreme Court.

He emphasised that the absence of the accused, if in custody, would be duly investigated by the court itself. Khawaja also alluded to a related case in the Lahore High Court.

Addressing the court, Khawaja Haris conveyed, “We respectfully request for a chance to be heard. Our intentions are not to delay proceedings intentionally.”

However, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor, Sardar Muzaffar Bassi, countered the argument by asserting that an arrest in one case should not preclude the possibility of arrest in other cases.

NAB’s opposition to the bail plea was presented by Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi. In response, Judge Muhammad Basheer commented on the broader implications, remarking, “Our aim today is to ensure fair justice.”

Muzaffar Abbasi suggested the possibility of seeking a one-day exemption or requesting medical grounds, stressing that the accused was not currently in custody.

Presenting a series of court decisions, Khawaja Haris said, “We submit copies of various court judgments. If Judge Muhammad Bashir deems it fit to arrest the law enforcement officials, it would set a positive precedent. Even M. Zardari himself used to express readiness for imprisonment. The exact nature of his actions remains uncertain.”

Judge Muhammad Bashir raised queries regarding the absence of a warrant for Bushra Bibi and inquired about the whereabouts of the investigating officer. Sardar Muzaffar Bassi clarified that there was no directive for her arrest at this stage.

The court deliberated on whether the case was still in the inquiry phase or had transitioned into a full-fledged investigation.

Khawaja Haris clarified, “The case has now progressed into an investigative stage.” However, Judge Muhammad Basheer appeared skeptical, stating, “There is no concrete indication of such a transition at this point.”

Amidst the legal proceedings, Intizar Panjutha sought assurances about the future course of action. Following the session, Bushra Bibi left the premises, taking her place in a waiting vehicle. The court, meanwhile, issued a directive restraining NAB from effecting an arrest on Bushra Bibi.

What is the Al Qadir Trust case?

Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz recorded his statement with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) along with former ministers of Imran Khan’s cabinet in the Al Qadir University land allotment case.

The development surfaced on Wednesday as NAB pursues a graft case against Imran Khan.

Others included in the case are former federal overseas minister Zulifiqar Bukhari, and former advisor on accountability Shehzad Akbar are also involved in the case were land was allotted for Al Qadir Trust University in exchange for ensuring that the £190 million (Rs70 billion) seized in the UK are returned to Riaz in Pakistan.

SAMAA TV sources claimed NAB has recorded an initial statement of Malik Riaz in the case.

It is pertinent to note that Riaz appeared before the bureau at its Rawalpindi office two weeks ago.

Sources told SAMAA TV that Malik Riaz was questioned about his connection with the case and whether he had allotted land for the varsity, details of the allotment agreement and any conditions imposed and records of the same.

Last year in November, NAB had sent a call-up notices to property tycoon Malik Riaz and asked him to come up with complete record regarding purchase of 458 kanals in Sohawa Tehsil, the agreement through which Bahria Town donated land to Al Qadir Trust along with revenue documents, and details of other

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