Disqualification case: Imran takes new position over offshore wealth

Published: October 16, 2017
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PTI chief Imran Khan. PHOTO: File

PTI chief Imran Khan. PHOTO: File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has finally provided a bank statement regarding his Niazi Services Limited (NSL) to the Supreme Court which is seized with a petition for his disqualification over non-disclosure of assets and existence of offshore wealth.

The bank statement reveals that the account for NSL, an offshore company, was active well after the sale of Khan’s London flat and money was transferred to him in the fiscal year 2007-08.

Naeem Bukhari, the counsel for Khan, submitted on Monday a revised concise statement on behalf of his client regarding the £100,000 available in the NSL’s accounts, also showing that the offshore company was also operating a euro account.

“The position taken earlier regarding the remaining £100,000 retained by NSL in 2003 was based on memory, incorrect advice, the absence of the requisite records, and lack of documentary information,” Khan now argues in his revised statement.

The PML-N legal team is claiming that Khan has contradicted his earlier stance regarding the money trail for the purchase of his property in Bani Gala.

Akram Sheikh, the counsel for PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi whose petition seeks Khan’s disqualification, says this is the ninth statement filed by Khan wherein he has stated that his offshore company was closed in 2012.

The reply says that Khan had nothing to gain by not disclosing the account details to Pakistani authorities or the apex court as the utilisation of the money was retained by the directors and shareholders of NSL. It adds that the money was not taxable.

Khan first submitted that £40,000 pounds were remitted to him from the NSL account on May 17, 2004, which was not in his knowledge earlier. However, he claims that the same amount was declared before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and FBR.

Khan won a seat from Mianwali in the elections held in October 2002 and held it till assemblies were dissolved ahead of the 2008 elections. He sat out the 2008 elections but returned to the assembly on a Rawalpindi seat in 2013, a seat that he still holds.

In Pakistan, Khan had numerous accounts in Al Falah Bank and Allied Bank – in rupees, US dollars, euros and pounds sterling. Litigation with the tenant was continued by NSL without reference to Khan to recover unpaid rent and other costs, according to the filing.

A settlement was later reached with the tenant after litigation in Amsterdam.

Income tax authorities assessed the tax payable by Khan for the year ending June 30, 2003. The income tax returns have already been submitted to the apex court.

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Euro account

For the first time, Khan has listed money received through euro transactions. An amount of €42,456 was received from NSL in two transactions of €20,000 and €22,456.70 on July 4, 2007, and March 4, 2008, respectively. These were converted into rupees and declared to tax authorities in Pakistan.

The terms of the settlement by their solicitors show that a euro account had been operated by the directors and shareholders to receive payments from the former tenants.

They were not required to be declared to the ECP as Khan ceased to be a member of the National Assembly in October 2007, Khan has argued.

The SC was also told that the records of NSL had been received from Barclays.

To the “best of the information”, Khan says NSL was de-notified in 2012 and its ghostly paper existence came to an end for non-filing of annual returns. It is reiterated that any income from the sale of the London flat was not taxable in Pakistan and was dissipated, while all the money remitted by Jemima Khan or NSL was duly declared in Pakistan.

The PTI chief has now requested the SC to grant him permission to submit the relevant documents and a concise statement.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Babbar sher
    Oct 16, 2017 - 8:18PM

    Every time he says that and every time the judges are not satisfied. In his mind he is always right.Recommend

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