ISLAMABAD: A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team visited PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Adiala Jail on Sunday and interrogated him in connection with charges he faces in the 140 million pounds Al Qadir Trust case.

A senior official of NAB while talking to Dawn said the questioning continued for over two hours.

Officials from the anti-graft watchdog have been visiting Adiala Jail since Nov 15 to investigate Mr Khan’s role in the case.

Mr Khan and his wife are accused of obtaining billions of rupees and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town Ltd for legalising Rs50 billion that were identified and returned to Pakistan by the United Kingdom during the previous PTI government.

The case relates to the alleged illegal acquisition of land for and construction of Al Qadir University involving unlawful benefit given in the recovery of prime proceeds (140m pounds) through the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in a money laundering case against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and his family.

Ex-PM accused of giving illegal favours to Bahria Town in return for benefits to trust

Imran Khan is also accused of misleading the cabinet by concealing the facts related to the settlement agreement. Money was received under the settlement agreement (140m pounds) and was supposed to be deposited in the national exchequer. But it was adjusted in the recovery of Rs450bn liabilities of Bahria Town Karachi (BTK).

The notice served on the accused says that the anti-graft watchdog took cognisance of the commission of offences of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under the NAB laws. It said the NCA had on Dec 14, 2018 frozen approximately 20m pounds from the bank accounts of two Pakistani nationals — Ahmad Ali Riaz and his wife Mubashra. On Aug 12, 2019, the NCA further froze 119.7m pounds lying in the bank accounts of Malik Riaz’s family and also one Hyde Park Place property, the notice added.

The NAB’s record revealed that instead of repatriation of funds to the state, the money was ‘dishonestly’ and ‘maliciously’ adjusted against liability of BTK by transferring the same to the designated account which was maintained by the Supreme Court registrar for depositing the liability of BTK.

“In return to this favour illegally and dishonestly, Bahria Town Ltd gave material and monetary benefits in shape of land measuring 458 kanals, Rs285 million, building and other kinds disguised under the garb of donations to Al Qadir University Trust in which you are one of the trustees and signed acknowledgment of donations with Bahria Town,” said a previous NAB notice to Mr Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi.

It is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court on Nov 23 ordered that an amount of Rs35 billion, which was remitted to the apex court’s bank accounts maintained in the name of the SC registrar, in the Bahria Town settlement, be transferred to the federal government.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2023

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