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IHC Reserves Verdict on Imran Khan’s Bail Plea in £190m Corruption Case

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A decision on Imran Khan’s bail plea in the high-profile corruption case has been reserved by a two-member bench consisting of IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri following the completion of arguments presented by both sides.

Amjad Parvez, the special prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), contended that the funds should have been remitted to the government of Pakistan. He asserted, “The Supreme Court clearly stated in its verdict that the funds were mistakenly deposited into the Supreme Court’s account. This act of secrecy constitutes a significant deception.”

Concluding his arguments, Parvez urged the court to expedite the trial proceedings rather than considering bail at this stage.

Responding to the prosecution’s claims, Imran Khan’s lawyer, Sardar Latif Khosa, challenged the allegations, particularly those made by former aide Shahzad Akbar. Khosa questioned why Imran Khan was being held accountable for matters beyond his control.

Khosa highlighted that a witness of NAB acknowledged the absence of Imran Khan’s signature and affirmed that no funds were directed to the PTI founder’s account or that of his wife, Bushra Bibi. “Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi did not derive any personal benefit from these transactions,” Khosa emphasized.

The case revolves around allegations of corruption and abuse of authority linked to a financial settlement during the PTI’s tenure, which reportedly incurred a £190 million loss to the national exchequer.

The £190 million (approximately Rs60 billion) settlement case pertains to the money of a property tycoon being laundered and caught by the UK authorities during Imran’s government in 2019. The UK government had informed the Pakistani authorities regarding the money being caught.

NAB launched an inquiry into the scandal last year. The inquiry transitioned into an investigation on April 30, leading to Imran Khan’s sudden arrest at the Islamabad High Court premises on May 9.

This arrest triggered widespread protests nationwide. Subsequently, the Supreme Court declared Imran’s arrest on May 9 as illegal.

On December 1, NAB filed a corruption reference against the former prime minister, his wife, and other suspects in an Islamabad accountability court.

The reference names a total of eight individuals, including Farhat Shahzadi aka Farah Gogi, PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari, Shahzad Akbar, and Barrister Zia-ul-Mustafa Naseem.

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