LHC grants bail to Abdul Aleem Khan in assets case

LHC grants bail to Abdul Aleem Khan in assets case

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Abdul Aleem Khan in offshore companies and assets beyond means case.

The bench directed Abdul Aleem Khan for submitting two surety bonds of Rs 1 million for the purpose. The bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the post arrest bail petition filed by Abdul Aleem Khan.

The bench had directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to establish at least a prima facie case, on last hearing, and gave two days time for bringing any statements of witnesses examined by it, after the defence counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued that the Bureau failed to establish a case against his client.

As the proceedings started on Wednesday, National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) prosecutor submitted that Abdul Aleem Khan was imprisoned in jail on judicial remand, in response to a court query.  He further read statement of witnesses in connection with the case, saying that Aleem Khan did not show actual price of 900 kanal land and it was showed less in worth.

At this, the court observed that Abdul Aleem Khan had already mentioned these details in his assets. Can you inform the court about the sources used for purchase of the land, it questioned.

To which, the prosecutor replied that amounts were transferred to Aleem Khan accounts from foreign countries but he failed to justify them. He submitted that these amounts were illegal, saying that his father and mother did not have any sources in Pakistan and they were government servants.

He further submitted that Aleem Khan’s accountants had admitted in his statement that the money was sent abroad through illegal means.He further alleged that Aleem also failed to explain Rs 500 million. The NAB prosecutor also submitted documents regarding Aleem Khan income and expenses.

However, the NAB investigation officer replied that final report was being prepared and it would be sent to NAB Chairman, in response to a bench query. Aleem Khan’s counsel submitted that he did not want to comment about the NAB report regarding income and expenses of his client as it was not signed by any NAB officer.

He submitted that the land referred by the Bureau was purchased within period of four years. If the Bureau wanted to prove that property worth was higher then it would have to submit evidence as case could not be made out on statements of the witnesses alone.

He said that it was 18-years-old case and no reference had been filed in it yet whereas Abdul Aleem Khan never remained an absconder in the matter. He pleaded with the bench to grant bail to Abdul Aleem Khan.

In response to the court query about investigation status, the prosecutor submitted that it was in progress  and no time could be given for its completion. The bench after hearing arguments of the parties reserved the verdict and reassembled after a short time to announce only that Abdul Aleem Khan had been granted bail in the case.

The NAB had arrested the PTI leader on charges of acquiring assets beyond means on February 6, when he appeared before the NAB team at its regional headquarters in connection with the case. The Bureau had alleged that Abdul Aleem Khan failed to satisfy about his offshore companies and assets.

Abdul Aleem Khan remained on physical remand till March 5 and he was sent to jail on judicial remand by an accountability while rejecting a NAB request of further physical remand.