Imran Khan Records Statement In Toshakhana Case

Imran Khan Records Statement In Toshakhana Case
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday formalized a statement he gave to the court in the Toshakhana case as his lawyers made another attempt to stall the case.

In a district and sessions court of Islamabad on Tuesday, where a criminal case against Imran Khan is underway in the Toshakhana matter, Imran signed a statement he had recorded under Section 342 (general power to examine the accused).

Earlier, Imran had recorded the statement, answering 35 questions posed by the court. Before signing the statement in court on Tuesday, Imran was asked if he was satisfied with the document. After responding in the affirmative, Imran proceeded to sign it and formalize the statement.

Imran stated that he was not present when the charges were framed nor were the charges read out to him when they were framed.

The judge also noted that Khawjawa Haris is being appointed as the pleader on behalf of Imran Khan.

On several questions, Imran raised technical issues, whether witnesses were presented or not.

Imran Khan further stated that the prosecution can summon his military secretary because he had sold all the gifts on his behalf.

The court then said proceedings would resume the next morning, and the defence should present their witnesses and any evidence supporting their argument.

Imran, though, protested that the case was politically motivated and that both the prosecution and witnesses in the case were essentially government puppets.

Barrister Gohar urged the court to grant them time to present their witnesses, noting that they have yet to prepare a list of witnesses.

However, the legal representative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) urged the court that further delays were not possible.

Judge Humayun Dilawar directed that the list of private witnesses can be presented on Wednesday and adjourned hearings until the next day.

SC urged to intervene again

Meanwhile, counsels for Imran again rushed to the Supreme Court, seeking suspension of Imran's trial in the Toshakhana case after a sessions court in Islamabad rejected the PTI chief's request to defer the trial for some time.

In the petition, they contended that despite their request, the IHC did not suspend the trial court's proceedings. They said if the proceedings are not suspended, the sessions court will conclude the trial, rendering Imran's petition pending in the IHC ineffective.

They said the IHC should either have suspended the court proceedings or rejected the PTI's petitions. They requested the apex court to list the case for hearing today [Tuesday].

Interestingly, the PTI legal team also met Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial in his chamber and allegedly requested him to list the case as a priority. The CJP asked them to first file an appeal. The court office later allotted a number to the petition.

The top court, though, affixed a hearing for Imran's latest plea for Wednesday, August 2, before a three-member bench headed by Justice Yahya Afridi and including Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

On July 27, a division bench of the apex court rejected Imran's request to pause the trial in the Islamabad district and sessions court in the Toshakhana case but had 'requested' the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to decide some pending petitions of the PTI chairman.

Imran has already moved the IHC, challenging a trial court's July 8 order which declared as maintainable the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) complaint seeking criminal proceedings against him for not disclosing the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his term as the prime minister in his statement of assets.

He had also filed a petition requesting the court to stay the trial court's proceedings, which had already summoned Imran Khan on July 31 (Monday) to give his testimony.

At the IHC, Imran's counsels had argued that if the trial court concluded his proceedings, the PTI's petitions would become ineffective. They had urged the court to take up the petitions expeditiously.

However, the IHC on Monday listed Imran's petitions for hearing on August 3 [Thursday] as the trial court judge rejected Imran's request to defer the case till the IHC decided his petitions.

The PTI chief, who appeared in the trial court on Monday, told Judge Dilawar that he needed time to carefully read the 35 questions asked by the court before giving his testimony in the Toshakhana case.

Imran's lawyers requested the court to postpone his testimony until the IHC decided the petitions. However, the judge turned down the request and ordered the PTI chief to appear in court on Tuesday and record his statement.