ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing of a case regarding offshore companies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till September 28.
A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab heard the case filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of the PTI chairman for concealing of assets before Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), ownership of offshore company and running party affairs through foreign funding.
During the course of proceedings, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief’s failure to declare his London flat as an asset can have legal consequences.
Naeem Bukhari, counsel for PTI Chief Imran Khan, said that his client’s apartment was not in Pakistan and it was bought from money he had earned abroad and it was not mentioned in his nomination papers before the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The court asked Imran Khan’s counsel to submit documents that prove he borrowed and returned £560,000 to his former wife Jemima. Bokhari told the court that the money was transferred to Jemima through an account in the Royal Bank.
He also read out Imran Khan’s statement that he gave under oath to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) where he said that he had borrowed money from Jemima to pay for the Bani Gala property in 2002 and repaid the loan in 2003. However, the money trail of 100,000 pounds could not be traced, Bokhari said and requested the court to grant more time so they can try and track it down.
The bench also asked for the account details of Niazi Services Limited (NSL), Khan’s offshore company, that was dissolved in 2015. Khan’s accountant, who appeared in court today to provide details of the politician’s accounts from 2001-04, admitted that he did not have them.
Akram Sheikh, who is representing the petitioner Hanif Abbasi, wondered why Imran Khan had claimed that there was no money in NSL’s account even though its worth at the time of dissolution was $1000.
The chief justice reiterated Sheikh’s point and said that since $1000 were an asset, Khan should have declared the sum in his nomination papers.
The court also demanded the money trail of œ75,000 that were remitted in 2000 from London to Pakistan. Bokhari confessed that the bank records of the transfer were not available.
Story first published: 26th September 2017