Formal criminal trial of Imran Khan in Toshakhana case begins
Court adjourns hearing until December 8 after district election commissioner records his statement
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The criminal trial of PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan for concealing information about the Toshakhana gifts has formally started and the district and sessions court in Islamabad adjourned the hearing until December 8 as the cricketer-turned-politician failed to appear before the court on Tuesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The court had earlier summoned Imran Khan directing him to appear before it today but his lawyer informed the court that he could not do so because he is recuperating after sustaining gunshot wounds during a PTI rally in Wazirabad on November 3.
The court proceedings began on the Election Commission of Pakistan's complaint after the electoral watchdog found him guilty of “false statements and incorrect declaration” in his election papers.
Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal presided over Tuesday's proceedings wherein District Election Commissioner Waqas Malik recorded his statement, saying he had been authorised to pursue the case.
The DEC further said that the ECP was an independent institution that functioned under the Constitution and ensured that corrupt practices were curtailed.
Waqas Malik said members of the National Assembly submitted their returns to the ECP annually. Imran Khan, too, submitted his returns from 2018 to 2021, he added.
A smiling judge asked Waqas Malik whether he was pressured to file this complaint against Imran Khan. The DEC responded: “I am doing my job.”
The hearing was adjourned till December 8.
Last week, the ECP had sent the reference to the court for criminal trial, asking it to proceed against Imran Khan under the criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as prime minister.
Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani