On Monday, an Islamabad district and sessions court postponed a decision in the Toshakhana reference case brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan against PTI Chairman Imran Khan (ECP).
The ECP submitted the reference last month, requesting the court to pursue criminal charges against Imran for allegedly lying to authorities about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries while serving as prime minister. Imran had allegedly “deliberately disguised his assets connected to Toshakhana gifts held by him notably in the year 2018 and 2019 […] in the declarations of assets and liabilities filed for the year 2017-2018 and 2018-19.”
Gifts from leaders of other countries and international dignitaries are kept in the Toshakhana, a department within the Cabinet Division.
The ECP has asked that the PTI leader be found guilty of the offenses included under Sections 167 (corrupt practice) and 173 (making or publishing a false statement or declaration) of the Elections Act of 2017.
Further Sessions Today’s session was presided over by Judge Zafar Iqbal, and the ECP’s attorney, Advocate Saad Hasan, was in attendance.
The PTI leader was not present for the hearing as he is recovering from a gunshot wound he received as a result of attempted murder at a rally on November 3.
Giving a breakdown of the assets reported by Imran, the ECP’s counsel stated that while Imran’s declaration statements for the years 2017–2018 and 2020–2021 were accurate, those for the years 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 were “controversial” since certain assets were declared in 2021 that had not been before.
Imran received presents totaling 107 million rupees between 2018 and 2019, according to Hasan, and any gifts or property received during that period will be counted as part of Imran’s holdings.
Imran Khan reported Rs8 million in tax return statements for the 2019 and 2020 tax years under the name of Toshakhana, the attorney said.
Hasan also stated that Imran did not specify which things totaled 8 million rupees.
He emphasized that the Toshakhana matter had already been heard by the National Assembly and the Islamabad High Court at that point, and the ECP had thus determined that the statements made in 2020–2021 were accurate.
If the prime minister gets a gift, it must be put in the Toshakhana, the ECP’s attorney claimed.
Hasan alleged that Imran had mentioned that a timepiece, a pricey Graff wristwatch given to him by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, was worth Rs85m but had omitted to mention the price at which he later sold it.
The wristwatch is not the subject of the lawsuit, he continued. The lawsuit involves Imran Khan’s disclosed assets.
The attorney added that the former premier and his wife “had collected 58 presents from the Toshakhana.” “The value of the 58 goods seized by Imran Khan in three years is Rs142m,” Hasan continued.
The ECP attorney stated that failing to disclose assets when running for the Senate, a provincial office, or a seat in the National Assembly is a felony.
Because he didn’t want to reveal the value of the presents to the public, he claimed Imran had only deposited a small portion of their overall worth.
“Imran Khan had gotten presents worth Rs107m from the Toshakhana at 20% of the price,” the attorney continued.
Hasan stated that Imran Khan “really did not even wish that the presents worth Rs142m get exposed publicly.” “Imran Khan’s approach [to dealing with the Toshakhana] is comparable to that of money laundering.”
Imran was obligated, according to the ECP attorney, to disclose what he did with each gift he got and how he handled them in his statements.
Justice Iqbal deferred his decision about the case’s outcome after the hearing.
The ECP also started the procedure to remove Imran from his position as PTI chairman last week; the next hearing will take place tomorrow.