The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday placed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan “under arrest” in the Al-Qadir Trust case and Toshakhana reference, as he continues to be incarcerated at Adiala Jail while undergoing trial in the cipher case.
The former prime minister was arrested at jail premises after Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir approved arrest warrants in the NAB case, and directed the Adiala Jail superintendent to execute them. During proceedings, the judge questioned the NAB prosecutor on the status of Khan’s pending pleas to revive his bail petitions in both cases.
According to NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, the pleas are still pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which has not issued any restraining order in the matter. The judge then inquired about the next legal steps, with the NAB prosecutor saying the law required any accused to be produced before court within 24 hours of their arrest. He argued that courts had issued arrest warrants for under-custody suspects earlier, adding the court could order the Adiala Jail superintendent to execute the warrants.
To another question, the prosecutor said Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain—who is hearing the cipher case—had approved the arrest of Khan in the NAB cases.
Subsequently, NAB was allowed to arrest the PTI chief and advance its investigation.
The Toshakhana reference pertains to Khan allegedly misusing his authority as prime minister while retaining state gifts. The PTI chief, in August, was found guilty and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by an Islamabad trial court in a separate Toshakhana case. The sentence was subsequently set aside by the IHC, but he has remained in prison as an under-trial prisoner in the cipher case.
The Al-Qadir Trust case, meanwhile, accuses Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, of receiving billions of rupees and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz against returning to him funds confiscated by the U.K.’s National Crime Agency. Khan was previously arrested by NAB in the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9, triggering nationwide riots targeting civil and military assets that led to an ongoing crackdown against the PTI’s leadership and workers.