The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted bail to Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement reference. This decision follows a hearing where a two-member bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, reserved the verdict on Imran Khan’s bail petition.

The court ordered Khan’s release against a surety bond of Rs1 million, with the detailed order to be issued later. Imran Khan, the deposed premier ousted via opposition’s no-confidence motion in April 2022, has faced multiple charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal.

Despite this bail grant, Imran Khan remains incarcerated due to previous convictions, including the Toshakhana case and other charges related to cipher and illegal marriage.

The £190 million settlement case involves corruption allegations implicating Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi, and other PTI leaders in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry. This inquiry is linked to a settlement agreement between the PTI government and a property tycoon, allegedly causing a loss of £190 million to the national exchequer.

According to the charges, Khan and other accused individuals allegedly benefited from Rs50 billion (£190 million) sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the Pakistani government as part of an agreement with the property tycoon. They are also accused of acquiring over 458 kanals of land to establish Al Qadir University in exchange for undue benefits.

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During Imran Khan’s tenure as prime minister, the NCA seized assets worth £190 million from the property tycoon in Britain. The NCA clarified that this settlement was a civil matter and did not represent a finding of guilt.

Prime Minister Khan obtained cabinet approval for the settlement with the UK crime agency on December 3, 2019, without disclosing the details of the agreement. The money was designated to be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.

Subsequently, the Al-Qadir Trust was established in Islamabad, with Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Bushra Bibi, and Farah Khan initially appointed as members. The property tycoon transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close aide of Imran Khan, who later transferred it to the trust. Bukhari and Awan eventually opted out as trustees, and the trust is now registered in the names of Khan, Bushra Bibi, and Farah.

NAB officials initiated a probe into the alleged misuse of powers in the recovery of funds received from the UK crime agency. This inquiry was later converted into an investigation based on “irrefutable evidence.”

According to NAB officials, Imran Khan and his wife obtained land worth billions of rupees from the property tycoon in exchange for providing legal cover for the tycoon’s funds received from the UK crime agency.

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