Toshakhana reference: Witness spots ‘clerical error’ in jewellery item’s specification report

Defence lawyer questions flaw in estimation report mentioning diamond’s weight in “gramme” instead of “carat”

Former PTI chairman Imran Khan arriving at a court in this undated picture. — AFP
Former PTI chairman Imran Khan arriving at a court in this undated picture. — AFP
  • Defence lawyer questions credibility of approximation process of gifts.
  • Witness says diamond expert’s input document not provided to officer.
  • Accountability court judge Bashir adjourns hearing till January 23.

RAWALPINDI: A witness in the Toshakhana reference against the incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan on Saturday spotted a “clerical error” in a jewellery item’s specification report.

The accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir in Rawalpindi conducted the hearing of the Toshakhana reference at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

At the outset of the hearing, two witnesses recorded their testimonies before the court, whereas, the lawyers cross-examined one of the witnesses who conducted an estimation of the expensive Toshakhana gifts including a jewellery set and a bracelet watch to ascertain its market value.

The witness, in his statement, confirmed that his company had been approached by Pakistan’s Consul General in Dubai to conduct an estimation of the said jewellery set and the bracelet watch.

He detailed he was given the responsibility to search market value of the jewellery articles which he had completed and submitted an estimation report to the consul’s office in Dubai.

In his statement, the witness said that the estimated value of the pricey Graff jewellery set was $19.492 million.

The witness apprised the court that diamond experts and jewellery manufacturers were approached. Besides, a complete market survey was conducted for the preparation of the estimation report he added.

He, however, admitted that the specification list of the article was not provided to the investigation officer (IO).

The defence lawyer also raised questions over a flaw in the estimation report as the diamond’s physical weight was mentioned in “gramme(s)” instead of “carat(s)”. The witness termed it a “clerical error”.

During cross-examination, the defence lawyer questioned the credibility of the entire approximation process of the state gifts acquired by the PTI founder from the Toshakhana.

The counsel queried whether the consul general had been handed over a report prepared by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The witness denied the claim.

The lawyer further questioned the reasons for not providing the estimation report to the IO if the market survey was not conducted in real.

To this, the witness also rejected claims against the estimation process. However, he admitted that the input documents from the diamond expert were also not handed over to the IO.

Responding to another query, the witness said that the monetary value of diamonds could neither be ascertained through their colour nor photos but specifications.

After the lawyer completed cross-examination, the accountability court adjourned the hearing till January 23.

On January 9, an accountability court had indicted Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi in the Toshakhana reference filed against them by NAB.

The decision was announced during a hearing in Adiala jail — where the former prime minister is currently incarcerated in the case.

A five-member special prosecution team of the anti-graft watchdog had perused the reference against the duo.

Accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir had conducted the hearing of Toshakhana and £190 million cases in the prison. 

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