Pakistan Court Acquits Imran Khan In 2 Vandalism Cases

The judge inquired whether Imran had been acquitted in cases before (File)

Islamabad:

In a relief to former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, a judicial magistrate in Islamabad on Tuesday acquitted him in two long march vandalism cases, The Express Tribune reported.

On May 27, 2022, the Islamabad police filed separate cases against 150 people, including then Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, and other party leaders including Asad Umar, Asad Qaiser, over allegations of arson and vandalism in the federal capital a day earlier.

The judicial magistrate, Shaista Kundi, announced the verdict reserved earlier in the day. The court, however, rejected the request to produce the PTI founder in court.

The Pakistan-based news daily reported that during the hearing, Imran Khan’s counsel, Naeem Panjotha, said that all cases against the ex-premier were limited to the extent of intimation. He was booked in multiple similar cases in one day. The complainant in the case is an SHO and he does not have the authority to lodge a case. The case also does not include the statements of witnesses, he added.

The judge inquired whether Imran Kahn had been acquitted in cases before, to which the counsel responded in the affirmative.

The complaints against the former premier were registered at the Sahala and Lohi Bhair police stations.

In the case filed against the PTI founder and others, the footage of the Safe City cameras as well as those from private TV news channels were included in the challans of the cases as evidence. At least 39 people were taken into custody after identification from the footage.

Two FIRs were registered at Kohsar police station over the complaint of sub-inspector Asif Raza and sub-inspector Ghulam Sarwar under Sections 109 (abetment), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public service), 188 (disobedience), 353 (assault on public servant), 427 (causing damage) and 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Sub-inspector Raza stated in his FIR that he was patrolling with his other police personnel near Jinnah Avenue’s China Chowk when, at 11 PM, around 100-150 people with PTI flags suddenly moved towards Express Chowk. He added that the police tried to stop the PTI supporters due to the imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad but they did not listen and instead pelted stones at the police officers and also set fire to trees, The Express Tribune reported.

The SI said 36 individuals, “acting at the behest of Imran and other PTI leadership,” were “brought under control.”.

In May 2022, ImranKhan  launched a march towards Islamabad to topple the coalition government that assumed power after he was ousted as the premier following a vote of no confidence.

The rally was part of the PTI’s struggle to achieve “real freedom” and deliver the nation from the “slavery” of the “US-backed” coalition government, The Express Tribune reported.

Imran KHan accused the coalition government of being an “imported government that came to power through a US-backed conspiracy.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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