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January 23, 2021

Open hearing after scrutiny committee recommendations in PTI foreign funding case: ECP spokesperson


Sat, Jan 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: An open hearing will be held in the PTI foreign funding case once the scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan is finished with its proceedings, the ECP spokesperson said Saturday.

He was giving a clarification over ECP's statement, issued a day earlier, where it ruled out public hearing of the case.

He said there was a confusion over whether the hearing would be public or not.

The proceedings of the scrutiny committee will not be open, the ECP spokesperson clarified.

He said the proceedings are continuing in the presence of both parties and an open hearing will be held to forward the recommendations of the committee after it submits a report.

Two days earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had challenged all those sceptical of his party's activities by saying that the proceedings of the foreign funding case should be aired live on TV.

Speaking to journalists in South Waziristan, the prime minister said the proceedings should be open and that the party heads should attend the hearings.

Case background

Akbar S Babar, a founding member of the PTI, had filed a case against the Imran Khan-led party in November 2014 claiming in his petition that there were massive financial irregularities in handling of foreign funding to the tune of nearly $3 million.

Following the petition, the PTI challenged the ECP orders in the IHC in 2017.

In the same year, the IHC sent back the case to the electoral body to review its jurisdiction once again. In the case, the high court had also declared Babar as member of the ruling PTI.

Later on May 8, 2017, an ECP bench stated that the body had complete jurisdiction over the case.

In March 2018, a scrutiny committee was formed to look into PTI's foreign funding accounts to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

The PTI at multiple times has sought secrecy in the scrutiny and had also approached the ECP, in this regard. However, in October, 2019, the ECP turned down the party's request.

PTI chief Imran Khan at multiple times has accused the ECP for working for the interests of the Opposition in the case.