Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi Charged In Toshakhana Case

Former first couple pleaded not-guilty to charges in the accountability court. The prosecution has summoned 12 witnesses against the suspects

Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi Charged In Toshakhana Case

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi have been charged in the Toshakhana Case by an accountability court.

The couple have submitted not-guilty pleas in court.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir heard the case in the Adiala Jail, where Imran Khan is detained. During proceedings, the charges were read out against the couple.

The couple received 108 gifts during the three years and seven months Imran spent in power. Of these, 58 gifts were deemed as expensive and were worth a total of Rs140 million. The couple retained all the gifts from the Toshakhana. 

Bushra Bibi was accused of retaining an expensive jewellery set, gifted by the Saudi Crown Prince, against a very nominal sum. Moreover, investigations show that while the gift was reported to the Toshakhana, it was never submitted to the Toshakhana and hence violated the law. They are also charged with abuse of power to ascribe the value of choice for the gifts which were not in accordance with market prices.

The couple paid Rs9 million to the government to retain the jewellery set after getting it appraised from a private individual who mentioned a price well below the market value.

An independent appraisal from Dubai set the price of the set at $15.73 million, causing a loss to the national exchequer.

After the couple pled 'not guilty', the prosecution requested to summon 12 witnesses as the case headed to trial. NAB plans to summon 20 witnesses against the suspects.

The witnesses include the jeweller who appraised the set for the government price. Others included in the list of witnesses include Pakistan's Deputy Counsel General in Dubai, Rahimullah, Toshakhana Section Officers, and Prime Minister Office Protocol Assistant Secretary Zahid Sarfaraz, among others.

Bail rejected

In the £190 million transfer case, his legal counsel and the prosecution completed arguments on granting bail to Imran; thereafter, the court reserved its verdict in the matter.

Later, the court announced the decision and rejected Imran Khan's post-arrest bail application. 

The court adjourned further proceedings until January 11 and set January 17 as the date for indictment.

Earlier, Bushra Bibi officially received copies of the relevant case documents. She will likely be indicted at the next hearing of the case.

Bushra Bibi did not attend the last hearing of the case, which is why copies of documents could not be provided to her, and her indictment was deferred. She had filed a request to grant leave from appearing in the case for one day.

The court had previously granted bail before arrest to Bushra Bibi in the £190 million transfer case.