ISLAMABAD: An accountability court declined the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea for extending the physical remand of PTI chief Imran Khan, opting instead to place him under judicial remand in the Al Qadir Trust case.
Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir issued this decision during the hearing at Adiala Jail.
This decision followed a NAB team’s interrogation of Imran at the jail a day earlier regarding the case. The case alleges that the former prime minister and his wife, Bushra Bibi, acquired substantial sums of money and extensive land from Bahria Town Ltd to legalize Rs50 billion returned to Pakistan from the UK during the previous PTI government’s tenure.
Imran was initially arrested earlier in the year at the Islamabad High Court but was later released when the Supreme Court deemed the arrest unlawful. On Nov 14, he was arrested by NAB in the Al-Qadir Trust case while already imprisoned in Adiala Jail for the cipher case. Subsequently, he was placed under physical remand.
During the recent hearing, Imran’s wife and legal team appeared in court along with a five-member NAB team. Despite NAB’s request for an extension of Imran’s physical remand, the court dismissed the plea and ordered judicial remand for the PTI chief.
Following the hearing, Imran’s counsel, Sardar Latif Khosa, criticized the necessity of physical remand in this case. He accused NAB of engaging in “political engineering and vendetta,” alleging the government’s manipulation of the institution for its benefit.
Imran faces allegations of misleading the cabinet by concealing facts related to a settlement agreement. Funds received under this agreement were meant to be deposited in the national exchequer but were instead utilized to offset Bahria Town Karachi’s liabilities.
NAB’s notice stated that the watchdog observed corrupt practices under NAB laws, referencing frozen funds belonging to certain Pakistani nationals. Instead of repatriating these funds to the state, they were unlawfully adjusted against Bahria Town Karachi’s liabilities.
The Supreme Court, on Nov 23, ordered the transfer of Rs35 billion remitted in the Bahria Town settlement to the federal government from the apex court’s bank accounts maintained by the SC registrar.