A Pakistani court on Wednesday rejected the country’s top investigating agency’s plea to cancel former prime minister Imran Khan’s bail in the prohibited funding case, a media report said.
Khan, the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: party was granted bail by an Islamabad-based banking court in a prohibited funding case.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in October last year filed a case in the banking court against Khan, 70, and other members of his party for allegedly receiving prohibited funding.
The prohibited funding case was filed by PTI’s estranged founding member Akbar S Babar in the Election Commission of Pakistan in 2014.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri conducted the hearing on the plea in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.
The court also rejected the request to cancel the bail of co-accused Tariq Shafi, the report said.
The FIA filed an application in the IHC on February 28 against the banking court’s decision to grant bail to the PTI chief and appealed to the court to annul the decision as it was “against the law”.
In 2022, Pakistan’s Election Commission said the allegations of taking prohibited funds from overseas Pakistanis against Khan were proven.
It issued a new show-cause notice to PTI asking why these funds should not be confiscated.
During Wednesday’s hearing, FIA Special Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi argued that Khan has not yet been interrogated by the agency in the case, and urged the court to cancel his bail, the report said.
IHC Chief Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani asked if the money laundering allegations in the FIR were against Arif Naqvi and Imran Khan or if PTI was the recipient of the funds.
The FIA counsel argued that Khan in a recent interview admitted that he received funds for charity purposes but used them for political activities, according to the report.
Justice Kayani inquired if the funds were used by a political party and then how they became personal belongings, it said.
Justice Kayani asked the FIA counsel to submit the letter from the State Bank of Pakistan that the investigation agency received during the investigation.
“You did not include the employee of the State Bank in the investigation. Changing the name of a bank account is not a crime. Has the State Bank taken any action to change the name or nature of the account?” the judge asked.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, was granted interim bail by a special court in Islamabad after being shot during an assassination attempt in November last year.
He was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.
Khan, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
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