Pakistan court indicts Imran, wife

ISLAMABAD, Feb 27: An accountability court in Pakistan on Tuesday indicted jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi in the 190 million pounds Al Qadir corruption case.
Judge Nasir Javed Rana conducted the hearing at Rawalpindi’s high-security Adiala jail where the 72-year-old Pakistan-Tehreek-Insaf founder is currently incarcerated in multiple cases.
The judge read the chargesheet in Khan and Bushra’s presence in the courtroom.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation against Khan, his wife, and others regarding the alleged acquisition of hundreds of canals of land under the name of Al Qadir University Trust, resulting in a reported loss of 190 million pounds to the exchequer.
During the hearing, the court said that statements of 58 witnesses will be recorded in the case, Geo News reported.
The judge asked Khan if he was guilty or not while framing charges against him.
“Why should I read the charge sheet when I know what’s written in it?” Khan replied.
Both Khan and his wife then denied the charges against them.
The hearing was adjourned till March 6 and the court also ordered five witnesses of NAB to attend the hearing.
Bushra, 49, is imprisoned at Khan’s Bani Gala residence in Islamabad after an accountability court sentenced the couple to 14 years in jail in the Toshakhana corruption case.
The Al-Qadir Trust case pertains to the settlement of 190 million pounds, which the UK’s National Crime Agency sent to Pakistan after recovering the amount from Pakistani property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.
Being the prime minister then, Khan, instead of depositing the money in the national treasury, allowed the businessman to use the amount to partly settle a fine of about Rs 450 billion imposed by the Supreme Court some years ago.
The tycoon, in return, allegedly gifted about 57 acres of land to a trust set up by Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to establish the Al-Qadir University in the Sohawa area of the Jhelum district of Punjab.
Hussain, his son Ahmed Ali Riaz, Mirza Shehzad Akbar, and Zulfi Bukhari are also among the suspects in the case, but instead of joining the investigation and subsequent court proceedings, they absconded and were subsequently dec-lared as proclaimed offenders. (PTI)