The Supreme Court of Pakistan observed on Tuesday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had not disclosed the “loan” he had taken from his ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith.
However, the top court noted that it would have to be seen whether the disclosure of the loan and its repayment after the declaration of assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would affect the case or not, Express News reported.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a petition seeking disqualification of the PTI chief.
The petition was filed by Hanif Abbasi, a leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
During the proceedings, Abbasi’s counsel Akram Sheikh informed the court that Imran’s two letters mentioned different addresses and fax numbers and were written on the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital’s letterhead.
Bani Gala land: Imran fails to satisfy top court over money trail
As Imran’s counsel Naeem Bukhari was absent, the CJP spoke with the other PTI lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, on the issue raised by the petitioner’s counsel.
Sheikh, continuing his argument, told the court that it was unclear as to whether the money for purchasing the land in Bani Gala came from Jemima or had been paid by Imran.
Imran’s attorney has been unable to satisfy the court so far regarding the transfer of £562,000 by him to his ex-wife Jemima in 2003 after the sale of his London apartment.
During the last hearing on September 28, Bukhari told the bench that Jemima had confirmed receiving £562,000 (Rs79.6 million) from Imran in 2003. Submitting copies of email correspondence between the two in the court, he said Jemima would contact her bank for getting a proof that the said amount was received in her account from the account of Niazi Services Limited, the PTI chief’s offshore company.
Bukhari also submitted a letter written by the PTI chief to his bank in 2003 for the transfer of the amount into his ex-wife’s account. The letter, dated April 18, 2003, instructed Barclays to transfer the money.
On the other hand, Abbasi’s counsel Sheikh contended that Imran had submitted forged documents to establish the transfer. He also cast doubt on Imran’s signatures on his two letters. The court, however, observed that the authenticity would become irrelevant if Jemima submitted her bank statement.
Imran still can’t produce offshore account details
The court also asked Imran’s counsel to justify why an amount of £75,000 that remained in the account after payment to Jemima was not disclosed before the ECP in his 2003 annual return.
Bukhari claimed that Imran was not authorised to declare that amount, i.e, £75,000, as his personal asset because the company was involved in litigation at that time.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, another judge on the bench, remarked that the court was only looking into the source of fund and movement of money, rather than conducting tax proceedings. He also said that Imran was a public office holder but these were not public funds.
Meanwhile, the CJP observed that the PTI chief’s counsel had yet to provide supporting evidence for £100,000 remittance from Jemima for the purchase of the Bani Gala land in 2002-03.
The bench noted that Imran did not mention in his 2002 nomination papers that he gave Rs6.5 million to Jemima as gift. It also observed that Imran, in his earlier statement, stated that he got a loan from Jemima to purchase the Bani Gala land.
Upon this, Bukhari contended “there is a difference between money taken from his wife and money borrowed from banks”.
Jemima says she’s found bank statements verifying Bani Gala land purchase
Concluding his arguments, Bukhari said his client was facing four sets of allegations, adding that one of the allegations was that Imran did not disclose a booked flat in Grand Hyatt in the nomination papers for 2013, which he defended by saying that as soon as details of the location of the flat became available, it was disclosed before the Federal Board of Revenue.
Bukhari further stated that the Bani Gala land was purchased for Jemima to encourage her to stay in Pakistan. Likewise, he said that Niazi Services Limited was not entitled to benefit from Tax Amnesty 2000 as Imran was the beneficial owner of the London flat, which was disclosed through the scheme and was also mentioned in Imran’s nomination papers in 2002.
The lawyer also stated that Imran purchased the London flat from the money he earned playing cricket.
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Source: Tribune News
Original Post: Disqualification plea: Imran had not disclosed ‘loan’ taken from Jemima, observes SC