An accountability court in Rawalpindi on Friday issued arrest warrants for five including PTI Chief Imran Khan and Farah Shehzadi in the £190 million settlement case, sources said.
The court also issued warrants for PTI leaders Zulfi Bukhari, Shahzad Akbar and Barrister Zia Mustafa, they added.
The court directed the DG NAB and relevant police officials to ensure compliance with the warrants and to produce the accused before the court.
Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau in Rawalpindi filed a reference against PTI Chairman Imran Khan and seven others in a case pertaining to the £190 million settlement case.
The NAB deputy prosecutor general, along with Investigating Officer Mian Umar Nadeem, filed the reference in the accountability court of Islamabad. At least eight suspects, including Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi, and others are named in the reference.
UK’s National Crime Agency, in 2019, agreed a £190 million settlement with the Riaz family after a frozen funds investigation. Following an out-of-court settlement with the property tycoon, the UK agency had said funds had to be returned to the government of Pakistan.
The NCA had accepted a settlement offer of £190 million, which includes a UK property – 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH – valued at approximately £50 million and all of the funds in the frozen accounts.
The real estate tycoon’s funds were frozen by a UK agency in an investigation, which then ordered that the seized amount be transferred to the state of Pakistan.
On Thursday, the PTI chief filed a post-arrest bail plea in the accountability court in the aforementioned case. The application was filed by Latif Khosa, Intezar Panjutha, and Ali Aijaz.
The plea alleged that cases were registered against Khan on political grounds to malign his reputation. It demanded the court to grant a post-arrest bail to the former prime minister until a decision in the £190 million case.
Judge Muhammad Bashir issued notice to parties on the application and adjourned the hearing of the case till December 4.
In May this year, the-then Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed that the PTI chief and his wife obtained billions of rupees from a real estate firm for legalising a laundered amount of Rs50 billion that was returned to the country’s central bank by the UK.
The matter pertaining to the amount was also raised by the cabinet members of the former ruling coalition in January this year.
The government alleged that the PTI-led government did not submit the recovered amount of Rs50 billion (around £180 million) from business tycoon Malik Riaz to the national exchequer.
The Government of Pakistan should have been the beneficiary, but money was not deposited there, said the-then Petroleum Minister Musadiq Malik. Instead, the money was transferred to the account of the Supreme Court registrar.
Later, the government asked for the money to be transferred to the federal government to be used in social welfare projects while the Sindh government demanded the same to be used in development projects.
“The money was returned to Bahria Town through forgery,” continued Musadiq Malik. He said the government not only kept details of the agreement secret from the people but also from its own cabinet.