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Friday, February 23, 2024  
12 Shaban 1445  

£190 million case: Witness list includes former ministers from PTI govt

Pervez Khattak and Nadeem Afzal Chan among witnesses
From left to right are Nadeem Afzal Chan, Zubaida Jalal and Pervez Khattak who testified against former PM Imran Khan in £190 million settlement case
From left to right are Nadeem Afzal Chan, Zubaida Jalal and Pervez Khattak who testified against former PM Imran Khan in £190 million settlement case

At least two ministers of former prime minister Imran Khan’s federal cabinet and a former special assistant testified against him in the £190 million settlement case, sources said.

Former defence minister Pervez Khattak, then SAPM to ex-PM Imran Khan on parliamentary coordination Nadeem Afzal Chan and former minister of defence production Zubaida Jalal were among those who testified against the former prime minister in the case, they added.

A total of 59 people became witnesses against Khan while no minister from PTI’s ally MQM-P in the former government was among the witnesses.

Former principal secretary Azam Khan; officials from the bank and Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan; secretary and deputy secretary of East Recovery Unit; chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Al-Qadri Trust will also be National Accountability Bureau’s witnesses against Khan in the case.

Jalal, a member of Imran Khan’s former federal cabinet in her statement claimed that the £190 million settlement was approved despite the concerns of the then-cabinet members.

An investigation report by the National Accountability Bureau revealed that Khan refused to pay heed to the concerns of his cabinet members regarding the case of the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) of UK.

Jalal told the NAB team that the former prime minister approved keeping cabinet minutes secret where the matter related to the NCA was approved.

According to her, the matter was put before the meeting without being part of the agenda while no discussions were held before approving the settlement.

She went on to add that the then-cabinet members recommended an investigation into the matter, however, Khan did not pay heed to his cabinet members.

According to the report, Jalal had urged for the recovery of £190 million during cabinet meetings, saying that it was the property of Pakistan.

Along with Jalal, other members of Khan’s then-cabinet also appeared before the NAB and expressed similar views, the report said.

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.

It is pertinent to mention that an accountability court in Rawalpindi on December 1 issued arrest warrants for five including former chief of PTI Imran Khan and Farah Shehzadi in the £190 million settlement case.

The court also issued warrants for PTI leaders Zulfi Bukhari, Shahzad Akbar and Barrister Zia Mustafa, they added.

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