Imran’s counsel struggles to satisfy SC on Bani Gala money trail

Top court terms money trail submitted by PTI chief’s counsel as ‘self-prepared’


Hasnaat Malik September 12, 2017
PHOTO: PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s counsel, on Tuesday, struggled to satisfy the Supreme Court (SC) over queries regarding the purchase of the Bani Gala land by his client.

When the apex court resumed the hearing of the constitutional petitions seeking the disqualification of the party chairman and its secretary general Jahangir Tareen, the three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, questioned Naeem Bukhari over gaps in his response to give money trail regarding the purchase of the Bani Gala land.

The petitions, filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi last year, seek the PTI chief’s disqualification for presenting “contradictory statements about the ownership of Bani Gala land and misstating the party’s foreign funding sources”.

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During Tuesday’s hearing, the CJP noted that payment of $126,000 from Imran’s ex-wife Jemima was still not accounted for. “Why did Imran not disclose his London flat in 1997 nomination papers as this is very important in view of the recent judgment passed in the Panamagate case,” Justice Nisar wondered.

The bench noted that no authentic documents were produced by the PTI leader to prove his money trail, terming the money trail chart submitted by Imran’s counsel as ‘self-prepared’.

The apex court further observed that no record was available on how the cricketer-turned-politician returned money to his former wife after the sale of his London apartment. “Why did Jemima not transfer the money directly to Imran's account?” the court questioned.

The bench went on to ask Bukhari why the PTI chairman had changed his stance regarding the purchase of the Bani Gala land before the top court. It further questioned why Imran did not disclose the money which he had borrowed from his wife to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

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Later, the bench sought complete account details of the PTI chief’s offshore company within 10 days and adjourned the hearing until September 26. The PTI’s attorney has already concluded his arguments in the case.

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