Imran Khan appears before anti-graft watchdog

Former cricket hero questioned for allegedly using government helicopters for personal visits

Imran Khan appears before anti-graft watchdog

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistan’s next prime minister in waiting Imran Khan on Tuesday appeared before the country’s anti-corruption body for allegedly using the government’s helicopters for personal visits, local media reported.

Khan, whose center-right Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is going to form the government for the next five years in the wake of last month’s controversial elections, appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in northwestern city of Peshawar, and was grilled for over an hour, local broadcaster Express News reported.

He was handed down a questionnaire to clarify his position in the next 15 days, the broadcaster reported.

The former cricket star is facing an inquiry for allegedly using the helicopters of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, where his party ruled from June 2013 to May 2018, for his private visits.

Since Khan had no official status, he was not allowed to use the government’s helicopters for personal use.

According to the NAB, there is documentary evidence that Khan paid Rs2.1 million ($30,589) for using an Mi-17 and an Ecureuil helicopter belonging to the KP government for a total of 74 hours.

The NAB report claims that had Khan used a private company's choppers, it would have cost him much more.

Khan denies the charge claiming that he simply accompanied the KP chief minister, who had actually used the helicopters to visit the flood-affected areas.

Apart from the helicopters case, the firebrand populist leader also stands trial on attack on the parliament and the headquarters of state-run Pakistan Television during a sit-in in capital Islamabad in 2014. He is on bail in the said case.

The PTI’s parliamentary party members on Monday named Khan as the parliamentary leader and nominee for the  premiership.

In July 25 elections, the PTI emerged as the single largest party but fell short of simple majority in the National Assembly. The party will have to seek formal support from smaller parties or independents to get elected the prime minister of its choice.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2018, 13:58