‘Continuously denied right to free trial’: Imran Khan on ongoing Toshakhana case hearings

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that he might be disqualified in the Toshakhana case Thursday and said that he is being “continuously denied” the right to a free trial.

Khan’s statement came hours after a district and sessions court in Islamabad rejected the four witnesses Khan’s counsel had sought to produce before the court in the Toshakhana corruption case, as per a report in the Pakistani paper The Dawn.

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Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Hum­­ayun Dilawar said on Wednesday that Khan had failed to prove the “relevance” of the victims to the case as they were all tax consultants, but the case in question dealt with accusations of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader hiding assets and submitting a fake affidavit.

The court also observed that Khan’s lawyer had submitted a list of defence witnesses but failed to present them in court, reported The Dawn.

In a video statement issued in the early hours of Thursday (August 3), Khan wrote: “My message to the nation on the ongoing ToshaKhana case where I have been continuously denied the Constitutional Right to Fair Trial and not even allowed to present witnesses in my defense. The superior courts must intervene immediately to stop this miscarriage of justice in what feels like a military-styled mis-trial.”

The cricketer-turned-politician also claimed that though he had declared all his assets, he is now being hounded for a technical omission.

The Toshakhana corruption case pertains to allegations that during his tenure as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Khan did not disclose information on gifts presented to Toshakhana (the Pakistan government department in charge of the gifts and expensive items given to the Prime Minister and high-ranking Cabinet ministers and officials, among others) and the proceeds from the “illegal” sale of some the gifts.

Rules dictate that officials must report the gifts and other such materials received by them to the Cabinet Division, which Khan did not follow saying that doing so would severely impact relations with other countries.