PTI’s Aleem Khan remanded into NAB custody till Feb 25

LAHORE, Feb 15 (INP): An accountability court on Friday handed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and one of the top lieutenants of the party in Punjab, Aleem Khan, on a 10-day remand to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore.

The PTI stalwart was detained by the anti-graft watchdog on February 6 after he appeared to record statement in cases linked to an offshore company revealed in the Panama Papers leaks and for accumulating assets beyond known means of income.

On February 7, the court sent him on a nine-day physical remand in NAB’s custody. During the hearing, NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua informed the court that the accused did not cooperate with the investigating team. “He is not cooperating despite resigning as a senior minister?” the court asked. Janjua also requested an extension in the physical remand to continue the probe. Briefing the court on the developments, the prosecutor said the bureau had unearthed connections to seven individuals. “In 2003, Aleem was an ordinary citizen. In 2007, he became a millionaire with 35 companies and a hundred bank accounts. He was secretary of a housing society in 2000, three years later he was elected member Punjab Assembly. He bought properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and Pakistan. But we cannot find the trail of where the money came from.” The bureau’s prosecutor maintained that the PTI leader concealed his assets. Responding to the accusations, Aleem’s counsel insisted that the bureau’s claims were baseless. “I can say with confidence that Aleem has submitted every required document including those pertaining to foreign properties,” he added. The accountability court further questioned how the accused acquired assets between 2002-2007 when he was a public office holder. Reiterating that that case was based on assumptions, the PTI leader’s counsel requested the court to deny NAB physical remand. He asked the anti-corruption body to prove his client had committed corruption or misused authority. He further lamented that Aleem was first arrested in the case pertaining to an offshore company before NAB added the assets beyond means of income matter. INP/AJ