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Pakistan court adjourns Imran Khan's corruption case due to 'security concerns'

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan (File image)

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan (File image)

Islamabad: An accountability court in Pakistan on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the 190 million pounds corruption case against Imran Khan till Friday, citing "security concerns" at the high-security Adiala prison where the former prime minister is currently imprisoned, media reports said.

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The 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder has been lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi since August last year.

The Islamabad accountability court accepted the request of the Adiala Jail's superintendent to adjourn the hearing of the case against Khan due to 'security concerns', The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The court adjourned the hearing till May 17, it said.

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In his request, the jail official cited reports received by the Punjab Home Department of the threat alerts on prisons in Punjab by banned organisations.

Asserting that the Adiala jail is the most sensitive prison in the province and houses more than 7,000 prisoners, the official said that criminals involved in serious crimes, including high-profile political entities, are also incarcerated there.

Security threats were also received for the Mianwali, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rawalpindi (Adiala) and Attock jails, said the request.

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Following the reports, security was increased in and around the prison, and a mock exercise was also conducted by security forces there.

Surrounding areas were also being combed by security personnel, the paper said.

On Tuesday, the Punjab Home Department imposed a ban on meeting of relatives and others with all prisoners in the Adiala Jail for three days owing to security concerns, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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A ban on providing any items to prisoners was also imposed.

In March, the Punjab government banned Khan from holding any meetings, including with his family members, lawyers and party leaders for two weeks at the Adiala Jail.

The Al-Qadir Trust case is about the settlement of 190 million pounds, about Rs 50 billion, which the UK’s National Crime Agency sent to Pakistan after recovering the amount from a Pakistani property tycoon.

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Being the prime minister then, Khan, instead of depositing in the national treasury, allowed the businessman to use the amount to partly settle a fine of about Rs 450 billion imposed by the Supreme Court some years ago.

Reportedly, the tycoon, in return, gifted about 57 acres of land to a trust set up by Khan and Bushra Bibi to establish the Al-Qadir University in the Sohawa area of the Jhelum district of Punjab.

In December 2023, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) initiated an investigation against the former cricketer-turned-politician, his wife and others in the case of alleged acquisition of hundreds of canals of land under the name of Al Qadir University Trust, resulting in a reported loss of 190 million pounds to the exchequer.

Since his removal from power in a no-confidence motion in April 2022, Khan has been convicted in at least four cases, including the cipher (secret diplomatic communication) case.

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