SC finds discrepancies in Imran’s money trail

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ISLAMABAD: Serious discrepancies have been found in the money trail provided by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan regarding the purchase of more than 300 kanals in Banigala on which the politician has built his house.

A three-judge bench of apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday, raised nine questions regarding Khan’s money trail. The bench questioned how the PTI chief’s agent Rashid Khan paid the seller nine months before having received the amount from Jemima Khan.

Further, the bench not only raised questions over the construction documents, but also asked Khan to provide complete records of Jemima’s bank statement, as details regarding how she transferred the amount to Rashid’s account were missing.

Unsatisfied with the revenue record regarding the transfer of land in Jemima’s name, the bench asked Khan how he would reconcile the record. Questions were also raised over Khan’s failure to disclose his ownership of an offshore company in 2002 nomination papers.

“We will go to any extent to find the truth in this case”, CJ Nisar observed during the hearing, as the bench sought complete records of PTI’s foreign funding case from Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Further, the bench directed PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari to provide assistance over how offshore companies are being formed and what is the motive for owning one. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till Tuesday, May 30.

On Tuesday, Khan told the Supreme Court that it was accusations such as ‘Zionist lobby’ and ‘purchase of antique tiles’ levelled on Jemima Khan by the Sharifs “that ended their marriage in divorce and forced his former wife to leave the country”. Khan was referring to the political campaign of the late 1990s launched against him by his political opponents. When they got nothing against him, he said, they found Jemima and targeted her Jewish family background. It was in those days that a case was registered against Jemima for illegally exporting hundreds of antique tiles to the UK.

“In 2002, having been hounded by allegations of still being part of the Jewish lobby and a false case [instituted] by the Sharifs of illegally taking out antique tiles (which had [actually] been purchased in a shop in the federal capital and were anything but antique) for which an FIR was also filed, Jemima Khan took our two children and moved back to London,” says Khan in his 10-page affidavit submitted in the apex court on Tuesday.

The affidavit was submitted in reply to a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, seeking disqualification of the PTI chief for giving contradictory statements about ownership of the Banigala land.

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