SC seeks documentsfrom Imran proving money for Bani Gala was gift from Jemima


ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday sought to respond to the questions asked by the Supreme Court regarding the transfer of funds for the purchase of his Bani Gala property.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition in which disqualification of Khan and PTI secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen had been sought over non-disclosure of assets, existence of offshore companies owned by Khan and Tareen as well as PTI being a foreign-aided party.

Khan’s lawyer Naeem Bokhari told the court that PTI chief’s former wife Jemima had gifted Rs6.5m to her then husband and the money was returned. The court asked that documents of bank transactions be provided to prove the same.

Bokhari presented a letter sent by Jemima via email before the bench, verifying that Khan had returned 562,000 pounds.

“You have not presented the arguments you are making today in any previous hearing,” Chief Justice Nisar responded, adding that Bokhari had not disclosed before that Khan’s ex-wife Jemima had given Rs6.5 million as a gift to him.

At this, the counsel said that monetary exchange between wife and husband does not qualify as a loan and “financial issues between the two are personal matters”.

The chief justice then observed that the allegation against Khan is that he acquired the Bani Gala property through money laundering, which the PTI chief has denied.  “Where are the details regarding the transfer of the sum from Jemima’s account and the return of that sum from Imran Khan’s account?” Justice Nisar asked.

Bokhari said Jemima had received 562,000 pounds, to which Justice Umar Atta Bandial asked for documents proving the same.

The chief justice observed that Khan has so far provided money trail of only three payments, including those of $33,000, $270,000 and 20,000 pounds.

Documents showing money had travelled from the account of Niazi Services Limited (NSL), Khan’s offshore company, to Jemima’s account could fill the gaps in the money trail, Justice Nisar observed.