An accountability court on Friday handed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and one of the top lieutenants of the party in Punjab, Aleem Khan, on a 10-day remand to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore.
The PTI stalwart was detained by the anti-graft watchdog on February 6 after he appeared to record statement in cases linked to an offshore company revealed in the Panama Papers leaks and for accumulating assets beyond known means of income.
On February 7, the court sent him on a nine-day physical remand in NAB's custody.
During the hearing, NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua informed the court that the accused did not cooperate with the investigating team. “He is not cooperating despite resigning as a senior minister?” the court asked.
Janjua also requested an extension in the physical remand to continue the probe.
Briefing the court on the developments, the prosecutor said the bureau had unearthed connections to seven individuals.
“In 2003, Aleem was an ordinary citizen. In 2007, he became a millionaire with 35 companies and a hundred bank accounts. He was secretary of a housing society in 2000, three years later he was elected member Punjab Assembly. He bought properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and Pakistan. But we cannot find the trail of where the money came from.”
The bureau’s prosecutor maintained that the PTI leader concealed his assets.
Responding to the accusations, Aleem’s counsel insisted that the bureau’s claims were baseless. “I can say with confidence that Aleem has submitted every required document including those pertaining to foreign properties,” he added.
The accountability court further questioned how the accused acquired assets between 2002-2007 when he was a public office holder.
Reiterating that that case was based on assumptions, the PTI leader’s counsel requested the court to deny NAB physical remand. He asked the anti-corruption body to prove his client had committed corruption or misused authority. He further lamented that Aleem was first arrested in the case pertaining to an offshore company before NAB added the assets beyond means of income matter.
PTI’s Aleem Khan arrested by NAB
The PTI leader had failed to appear before the bureau despite two summons. The NAB had then sought documents in a case regarding accumulating assets beyond income. The investigation revealed that Aleem owned flats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK).
“The accused established multiple companies with the purpose of real estate business and invested millions of rupees,” reads a NAB statement.
PTI leader remanded into NAB custody till Feb 15
Aleem is also under probe for establishing offshore companies in the UAE and UK. “Said offshore companies acquired assets of extensive value which are beyond known sources of income of the accused,” the statement added. “It is likely that accused may tamper with the prosecution evidence through coercion, criminal inducement, and criminal intimidation.”
The anti-graft watchdog also claims that the PTI leader has abused his power as a member of Punjab Assembly and Minister for Information Technology by indulging in corrupt practices while serving as secretary for the Parkview Housing Society project.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ