Tuesday, August 15, 2023
ISLAMABAD: Bushra Bibi, who is the former first lady and wife of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Tuesday appeared before a joint investigation team (JIT) in connection with the Toshakhana case.
The former first lady reached the DIG Office in Islamabad accompanied by the PTI's legal team where she was interrogated by the investigation team probing the Toshakhana case.
The development comes after Bushra Bibi met Imran Khan in Attock jail earlier today, the sources said, adding that their meeting lasted for about two hours.
She had left for the DIG office after her meeting with Khan, the sources added. The session court had directed Bushra Bibi to join the investigation team.
Speaking to media persons after the appearance before the JIT, PTI legal team's Quratul Ain said that Bushra Bibi underwent interrogation for about 20 minutes.
The JIT asked 20 questions from the former first lady and she answered all of the questions, Quratul Ain said.
A first information report (FIR) was filed at Islamabad's Kohsar police station against Imran Khan — who was jailed earlier this month after being convicted in the Toshakhana case and has been barred from politics for five years, preventing him from contesting an upcoming election — his wife, ex-accountability czar Shahzad Akbar and others.
They have been accused of committing fraud, forgery for the purpose of cheating and presenting a fake receipt of the complainant's business letterhead wherein false receipt showing sale purchases of gifts such as watches, cuff links were fraudulently obtained from Toshakhana with false signatures was prepared.
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 declared the former premier guilty of corrupt practices and filed a complaint in an Islamabad court.