Toshakhana case: IHC to resume hearing on Imran Khan’s plea today

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By Webdesk

PTI Chairman Imran Khan (centre) leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023. — AFP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (centre) leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023. — AFP

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) today (Monday) will resume hearing on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s plea seeking suspension of sentence by the trial court’s Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar in the Toshakhana case.

A two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, will conduct the hearing, with arguments expected by the Election Commission of Pakistan’s lawyer, Amjad Parvez, who wasn’t able to appear before the court due to ill health during the last hearing on Friday.

The court adjourned the hearing till Monday (today) on the request of his assistant counsel and ordered the ECP counsel to present arguments today. It had also directed the electoral authority to make alternative arrangements due to the unavailability of the lawyer.

PTI lawyer, Latif Khosa, completed his arguments in the last hearing.

Earlier this month, a trial court had sentence Khan to three-year in prison and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 earlier this month.

Khan challenged the verdict and approached the IHC for his release and suspension of the conviction. ECP, meanwhile, had filed a private complaint against Khan in the same case.

What is Toshakhana case?

Under the rules governing Toshakhana — a Persian word meaning “treasure house” — government officials can keep gifts if they have a low worth, while they must pay a dramatically reduced fee to the government for extravagant items.

The Toshakhana has been under a microscope ever since the emergence of the allegations that Khan purchased the gifts he received as prime minister at throwaway rates and sold them off in the open market for staggering profits.

The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was accused of misusing his 2018 to 2022 premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than Rs140 million ($635,000).

The gifts included watches given by a royal family, according to government officials, who have alleged previously that Khan’s aides sold them in Dubai.

Moreover, seven wristwatches, six made by watchmaker Rolex, and the most expensive a “Master Graff limited edition” valued at 85 million Pakistani rupees ($385,000), was also among the gifts.

A reference was forwarded by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf to the Election Commission asking it to probe the matter.

In October 2022, the electoral body also declared the former premier guilty of corrupt practices and filed a complaint in an Islamabad court.

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