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Pakistan News

    Title: Court refuses to extend witness list in gifts case
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    Court Refuses To Extend Witness List In Gifts Case 36816
    Description: A trial court--hearing a complaint filed against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan for allegedly hiding the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his term as the premier in his statements of assets and liabilities--has rejected the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) request to include more people to the list of witnesses. Accepting the PTI chief's request, the court has also stopped the public prosecutor from representing the polls supervisory authority while summoning two prosecution witnesses today [Tuesday]. When Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Court (West) Judge Humayun Dilawar resumed hearing of the gift repository—Toshakhana—case on Monday, ECP's counsel Saad Hasan gave arguments in support of adding four new witnesses to the list. He said three officers deputed to the Cabinet Division were included in the list of witnesses in October 2022. These include Cabinet Division's Secretary Administration Arshad Mahmood and Deputy Secretary Coordination Faisal Tehsin. "Section Officer Ali Asad had affixed his signature on the Toshakhana documents while the fourth witness, Umair Hussain, is the manager of a private bank where Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi have a joint bank account," he said. He said the ECP was not requesting to present a new document in the court. "These documents are already part of the court record. These are the documents which have also been provided to the accused [Imran Khan]," he said. The counsel requested the court to add these people to the list of witnesses, adding that the ECP was not asking for anything illegal. The court, however, rejected the request. During the proceeding, the ECP told the court that the Law and Justice Division had nominated Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry as special public prosecutor in the case.  The PTI chairman's counsel, Khawaja Haris, raised an objection, contending that it was a private complaint and not a police case. When Haris asked as to who appointed the public prosecutor, the ECP's counsel replied that the Islamabad additional commissioner had given his seal of approval to the appointment. The PTI chairman's counsel asked if a provincial government is in-charge of the ECP's complaint. "This is not so simple. Has this case been declared Imran Khan vs state case?" After hearing the arguments, the court stopped the public prosecutor from representing ECP in the case. The court later adjourned till today [Tuesday]. Separately, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) heard the PTI's reply to the objections raised by the court's registrar to a petition filed by Imran Khan against the trial court's order. On July 8, Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Court (West) Judge Humayun Dilawar announced starting criminal proceedings against Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case as he rejected the PTI chief’s plea against maintainability of a complaint filed by the ECP. Appearing before IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Imran counsel Khawaja Haris requested the court to list the case for hearing. The IHC chief justice, however, asked the PTI counsel to first address the objections raised by the IHC registrar. The case is likely to be listed today [Tuesday] once the PTI addresses the IHC registrar office's objections.
    Published Date: 18-Jul-2023
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