An anti-corruption court in Pakistan on Friday granted four days to the Accountability Bureau to interrogate jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust bribery case, news agency PTI reported. Khan, 71, has been lodged in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail since September 26 on multiple cases. On Friday, Judge Muhammad Bashir held a hearing in the prison at the high security facility. During the hearing, the judge rejected the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s request for physical remand and gave the anti-corruption body four days to interrogate the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief inside Adiala jail. Gave permission. Case involving Rs 50 billion in alleged corruption.
The Ali-Qadir Trust case is a settlement of 190 million pounds (about Rs 50 billion) handed over to Pakistan by Britain’s National Crime Agency, which was recovered from a Pakistani property mogul.
Instead of keeping the money in the national treasury, Khan, as prime minister at the time, had authorized the businessman to use it to partially repay a Rs 450 billion penalty ordered by the Supreme Court a few years earlier.
In return, the tycoon reportedly donated about 57 acres of land to a trust set up by Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi for the construction of Al-Qadir University in the Sohawa area of Punjab’s Jhelum district.
Bibi, who is also accused in the case, attended the session. After the NAB investigating officer informed the accountability court that the chairman has not issued an arrest warrant against him, the judge granted him temporary bail in the case till November 21.
Later the hearing was postponed till 21 November.
Separately, the hearing in the Sifar case was adjourned till November 21 due to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stay order against Khan in the case, which was given earlier this week.
The adjournment proceedings were briefly conducted by Special Court Judge Abul Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain.
The alleged cipher (secret diplomatic communication) details a meeting last year between US State Department officials, including Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Pakistani Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan.
Khan, who was Pakistan’s prime minister from August 2018 to April 2022, is accused of fabricating a narrative that his administration was ousted as a result of a US-orchestrated conspiracy, a charge Washington has consistently denied.
The federal probe agency had in August charged Khan and his close adviser and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case.
Qureshi was also detained in connection with the Sifar case and is being kept in Adiala jail.
Both Khan and Qureshi have pleaded innocent to the charges.
The caretaker government in Pakistan has approved the jail trial of the duo in March 2022 in the Sifar case, based on alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act while handling a secret diplomatic cable by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
Close family members of both the leaders were present in the court during the entire session.