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Court summons Imran Khan as trial begins in Toshakhana case

Former prime minister and Pakistan Teh­reek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan

The criminal trial of former prime minister and Pakistan Teh­reek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for concealing information about the Toshakhana gifts formally began on Monday, as the district and sessions court summoned him today on a reference filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), according to  a report in leading Pakistan daily Dawn.

Last week, the ECP had sent the reference to the court, asking it to proceed against Mr Khan under the criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as prime minister.

The commission has requested that the  PTI chief be sentenced to a three-year jail term and imposition of a fine as punishment in the case.

The complainant in the reference is the Islamabad deputy election commissioner. The reference stated that Mr Khan had “deliberately concealed his assets relating to Toshakhna gifts retained by him particularly in year 2018 and 2019… in the statements of assets and liabilities filed for the year 2017-201 8 and 2018-19”.

It further said that as per the record, the gifts were purchased from the Toshakhana for Rs 21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value, while they were valued at around Rs 108 million.

According to the reference, Mr Khan “deliberately concealed the material facts by not disclosing the details of gifts… has also made an evasive and ambiguous statement in his written reply that the gifts purchased by him during the financial year 2019-20 were further gifted by him or on his behalf to others”.