ISLAMABAD: A day before the hearing of his disqualification case, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday re-emphasised before the Supreme Court that his Draycott Flat in London was purchased through foreign earnings that he was neither required to disclose in Pakistan, nor was the money remitted from Pakistan.

Tax was deducted at source by the departments concerned from the receivable rent, as and when the flat was put up for rent, explained a statement submitted to before the apex court by Mr Khan’s counsel, Naeem Bokhari.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, will resume hearing Hanif Abbasi’s petition seeking the disqualification of the PTI chief and secretary general Jahangir Tareen for not disclosing assets, owning offshore companies and for the PTI being a foreign-aided party.

At the last hearing on Sept 12, the court had wondered whether Mr Khan, who has been contesting the general elections since 1997, had ever declared the over Rs40 million loan he received from his ex-wife for the purchase of the Banigala estate.

In response, the PTI chief submitted that the sale price of the London flat was credited to Niazi Services Limited’s account in Barclays. It is from this account that 562,415 pounds were remitted to the accounts of his ex-wife, Jemima Khan.

Transaction details leading to purchase of Draycott flat, Banigala estate submitted to SC

Mr Khan also attempted to satisfy the court by providing the complete picture of how the Banigala land and the London flat were purchased.

He insisted that his payment to his Jemima Khan was a matter between a husband and wife, not declarable to any authority because it had been settled between them, leaving nothing to declare to any authority, including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

He claimed that he paid the initial two instalments for the property from his own resources, which were reflected in a ‘managers check’ of March 3, 2002 and a demand draft of March 28, 2002.

In compliance with the Supreme Court orders, Mr Khan also submitted the original purchase documents of the Banigala estate in a sealed envelope.

The reply maintained that Mr Khan had declared the Rs6.5m as a gift to his then-wife in his tax returns for the year ending June 30, 2002.

Apart from these two payments, the entire amount for the Banigala land was paid by Jemima Khan through remittances to Rashid Ali Khan from April 2002 to Jan 2003.

Any payment made by Rashid Ali Khan in anticipation of remittances by Jemima Khan was settled between the two, the reply explained, adding that around Jan 23, 2003, when the entire payment for the 300 kanals of land had been made, Mr Khan’s contribution did not exceed Rs7.4 million.

The entries in the revenue record for the purchase of the Banigala estate showed that all mutations were in the name of Jemima Khan.

After their divorce, the property was returned to Mr Khan, since Jemima did not wish to retain it.

Referring to the London apartment, Mr Khan recalled that it was disposed of on April 14, 2003 and there was no foreign asset to be declared before the ECP or FBR at the cut-off date for the respective statement, which was June 30, 2003.

About Niazi Services Ltd, Mr Khan explained that its account was opened on June 2, 1983 and the first deposit of 5,833 pounds was made at the Lloyd’s Bank Jersey Branch, which was received as royalty from Pelham Books.

A second payment of 8,333 pounds was received from Pelham Books in a different current account, opened with the same branch on June 22, 1983. A third royalty payment of 8,334 pounds was received on Oct 10, 1983.

On Dec 14, 1983, a payment of 3,102 pounds was received in NSL’s deposit account from the National Bank of Australia.

Consequently by Dec 1983, 22,500 pounds were received from Pelham Books in the two Lloyd’s accounts.

From this amount, the initial 10pc down-payment of 11,750 pounds was transferred on Dec 16, 1983 to the buyer’s solicitors.

A sum of pounds75,000 was remitted by Khan from a BCCI Cayman account into the NSL deposit account on March 7, 1984. This amount included his payment from Kerry Packer and interest on the deposit account since 1979, at the rate of was 12 to 14pc per annum.

The gross amount came to $132,000, which converted to around 94,000 pounds.

Out of these deposits 56,000 pounds was transferred to the current account, from where 49,000 pounds were remitted to Mr Khan’s solicitors to pay the deposit for the flat, the reply said.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017