Toshakhana case: Court okays Imran’s exemption plea

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in the federal capital on Thursday approved a plea filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan seeking exemption from appearance in the Toshakhana case.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal announced the ruling after hearing arguments from former prime minister’s legal team and prosecutor Amjad Parvez in the case. During the hearing, the PTI chief’s lawyer filed the exemption plea for three days and argued that the Islamabad bar was holding protest for three days.

At which, Mr Parvez said if Imran Khan was also part of the protest, adding that it was must for the suspect to ensure his attendance in court during the trial. He said the PTI chief should have appeared before the court even his lawyers wanted to join the protest. In reply, Imran Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Harris said his client was facing threats and the government had also withdrawn his security. “He [Imran Khan] is not present in the court due to security reasons,” he said, adding that the PTI chairman could attend hearing via videolink if allowed. Mr Harris pleaded the court to accept the exemption plea.

The judge asked the both sides to help the court in fixing next hearing of the case with mutual consultation. At which, Faisal Chaudhry suggested that case should be fixed for hearing after Ramadan. Mr Harris requested for adjournment of the hearing for two weeks. Later, Judge Zafar Iqbal accepted the exemption plea and adjourned the hearing till April 29.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan’s lawyers also filed a petition, challenging the admissibility of the Toshakhana case. They would submit their arguments in this regarding during next hearing. In previous hearing, the court had suspended his arrest warrants after hear appeared before the judge in the case.

Last year, a reference was filed against him by lawmakers from the ruling coalition accusing him of not sharing the details of gifts he retained from Toshakhana in his assets declarations and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had concluded in October last year that the PTI chief filed false statements regarding the gifts. The electoral watchdog subsequently, disqualified him for being dishonest and corrupt and approached the district and sessions court seeking criminal proceedings Imran Khan for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts.

PTI chief moves LHC for dismissal of all cases against him: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking dismissal of all case registered against him, calling them politically motivated.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar is also an applicant in the petition filed under Article 199 of the Constitution. The high court has also been pleaded to grant bail to the PTI chief in all the cases. The petition has been filed through Barrister Salman Safdar and Barrister Sameer Khosa. The defiant politician has been facing spate of cases, including terrorism and misdeclaration of assets, since his ouster from the prime minister’s office through a no-confidence vote in April last.

The PTI has made the federation, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the prime minister, the interior minister, the caretaker chief minister, the Punjab IGP, the Anti-Corruption Department, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) respondents in the case. In a statement, Asad Umar said they had moved the high court against revengeful acts that were part of an organised campaign to bar Imran Khan from taking part in elections. He said factors regarding threats to Mr Khan’s life and violation of human rights had also been laid forth before the court. (INP)