ATC extends Imran Khan’s interim bail until September 20

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Monday extended the interim bail granted to former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the case of making threatening remarks against a lady magistrate and Islamabad Police officials until September 20, 2022.

ATC judge Raja Jawad Abbas heard the bail application filed by the PTI chairman.

Earlier, the judge directed the prosecutor to explain to the court why it took so long to constitute the police’s joint investigation team (JIT) in the case.

The judge asked Babar Awan, counsel for Imran, whether his client had joined the investigation.

Awan replied in the affirmative. But Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi cut him short and said no he didn’t. 

Strongly rebutting Abbasi’s statement, Imran’s lawyer asserted that the PTI chairman had joined the investigation. “The investigation officer (IO) in the case has even with him Imran’s written statement,” he added.

Awan argued that nowhere it was written in the law that the defendant would have to appear at the police station in person.

He asked why the police were insisting that the former prime minister would have to appear in person. “First decide whether the police want to probe my client or harass him,” he said angrily.

 “Submitting a reply in writing is sufficient,” he opined.   

He told the court that Imran received threats daily. “The former prime minister has been told several times that some banned outfits are after him,” he said, adding, “The greatest threat is from the police.”

PTI chairman’s counsel further said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had already issued notices to respondents on the petition to dispose of the case.

Awan went on to say that the police had lied to the IHC when they said that Imran did not join the probe. “The court had directed the investigation officer (IO) to carry out a fair probe and submit a report,” he elaborated.

Speaking on the occasion, the prosecutor said that the JIT had summoned Imran for questioning thrice. “When the first notice was issued to him, the former prime minister submitted his reply through his lawyer,” he said, adding, “But not once he appeared before the JIT in person.”

Addressing the IO, the judge remarked that there was a statement by the former prime minister, which he did not make part of the case’s record. “This shows mala fide intent on your part,” he added.

Strict security measures were put in place as hundreds of policemen took their positions in and around the judicial complex in view of Imran’s arrival.

Also scores of PTI workers assembled outside the complex to show solidarity with their leader.

Earlier talking to the media on arrival at the judicial complex, former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan questioned the logic behind booking him in a terrorism case when he had just said he would take a legal action against the lady magistrate for remanding his party leader Shahbaz Gill in police custody despite the fact that he had already been tortured by the police.

He was of the view that the government had made a mockery of anti-terrorism laws.

“Don’t compare me with the MQM founder,” he asserted.

Imran reiterated that he would become more dangerous once he was put in the jail.