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Islamabad Pakistan

Court denies Imran’s request for an investigation at the Zaman Park property

Court denies Imran's request for an investigation at the Zaman Park property

Orders the PTI head to show up in court for the upcoming hearing.

ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, a banking court in the federal capital denied Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan’s request to have the illegal funding issue investigated at his Lahore home in Zaman Park and instead ordered him to appear before the investigating officer.

The illegal funding case was heard before Banking Court Judge Rakhshanda Shaheen, and Special Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi argued that Imran’s request for bail should be denied.

The court stated that the investigating officer’s (IO) responsibility is to conduct the investigation and that the court will not guide the IO. Since the Wazirabad incident, where the PTI leader was shot by gunshots pointed at his open-top container truck, the special prosecutor claimed Imran is in charge of political activities but does not show up in court.

“The former premier’s request for an exemption from appearing in court should be rejected,” Abbasi said. “Neither did he appear in court, nor was he participating in the investigation.”

He maintained that as far as injuries are concerned, the incident had occurred in November and since then Imran has appeared in the media but does not appear in court. “Therefore, the decision on interim bail should be withdrawn,” he added.

The court then asked Imran’s lawyer as to why the PTI chief did not become a part of the investigation. To this, the former prime minister’s lawyer stated that Imran wants to be part of the investigation.

“However, there are several reasons for his non-appearance,” the lawyer added and said that Imran had been injured in the attack and that the ex-PM will appear in court as soon as the doctor’s permit. The attorney also informed the court that Imran has frequently referenced the rule of law and asked that Imran be released on bond with a two-week extension for a medical appearance.

Judge Shaheen then prolonged the former premier’s provisional release until January 31 and denied Imran’s request for an investigation into his Zaman Park home. While asking Imran’s attorney, “Why shouldn’t the court remove the ruling on Imran’s temporary bail, if he does not appear at the next hearing?” the judge further directed the PTI leader to appear before the IO in any case.

PTI leaders, including party chairman Imran Khan, the party’s financial team, and a manager of a private bank, had been detained by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in connection with the case involving illegal funding. The FIA Commercial Banking Circle in Islamabad filed the lawsuit. A first information report (FIR) claims that the former leaders of the ruling party broke the Foreign Exchange Act and were identified as the owners of suspicious bank accounts.

According to the FIA, the Abraaj Group also wired $2.1 million to the PTI’s bank accounts. When the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled that the PTI had indeed received illicit funds, the body began its investigation into the party in August of last year.

Akbar S. Babar, a founding member of PTI who is now disillusioned, had filed the lawsuit, which has been pending since November 14, 2014. The political party has received unlawful funding from other nations, including the US, UAE, UK, and Australia, according to the ECP’s written order.