ISLAMABAD: The criminal trial of former prime minister and Pakistan Teh­reek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for concealing information about the Toshakhana gifts formally began on Monday, as the district and sessions court summoned him for Tuesday (today) on a reference filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Last week, the ECP had sent the reference to the court, asking it to proceed against Mr Khan under the criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as the prime minister. The commission seeks a three-year jail term and imposition of fine as the punishment.

ADSJ Zafar Iqbal will conduct the hearing, and summoned Mr Khan for Tuesday.

The complainant in the reference is the Islamabad deputy election commissioner. The reference stated that Mr Khan had “deliberately concealed his assets relating to Toshakhna gifts retained by him particularly in year 2018 and 2019… in the statements of assets and liabilities filed for the year 2017-201 8 and 2018-19”.

It further said that as per the record, the gifts were purchased from the Toshakhana for Rs21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value, while they were valued at around Rs108m.

According to the reference, Mr Khan “deliberately concealed the material facts by not disclosing the details of gifts… has also made an evasive and ambiguous statement in his written reply that the gifts purchased by him during the financial year 2019-20 were further gifted by him or on his behalf to others”.

The ECP requested the PTI chief be convicted for the offences mentioned under sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act 2017.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2022

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