Pakistan court extends Imran Khan’s bail in terrorism case – Times of India

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court on Monday extended the period of pre-arrest bail for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief and ex-prime minister, Imran Khan, in a terrorism case till September 20.
The ousted PM appeared before the court in Islamabad, but it adjourned the case until September 20 after the state prosecutors asked for more time to prepare their arguments.
A terrorism case was filed against Khan after he allegedly threatened, at a public rally on August 20, to take “legal” action against police officers and a female judge, Zeba Chaudhry, who had ordered arrest of his top aide, Shahbaz Gill, on sedition charges.
Gill was arrested on August 9 after he was charged with inciting mutiny against the military in a TV talk show.
According to Khan, Gill was mentally, physically, and sexually tortured in police custody. The PTI chief denies that he threatened the women judge and police officers and says his comments were taken out of context.
The Islamabad high court, however, took note of this very speech of Imran Khan, in which he allegedly threatened a woman judge, to frame charges against the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician in a contempt of court case slated for hearing on September 22.
During Monday’s hearing, the state prosecutor told the court that the former PM refused to appear before the investigation officers despite being issued three notices.
Khan’s lawyer, Babar Awan, said his client had already provided a written statement to the investigating officer.
Following the hearing, Awan told journalists outside the courtroom that the charges against his client were a government ploy to disqualify him from holding public office. “This will fail,” he said.
Upon his arrival at the court, Khan sarcastically told reporters in his brief remarks that he had become “very dangerous” for the government.
Imran Khan was ousted from office in April this year through a vote of no-confidence. Since then, he has been holding public rallies across the country demanding fresh elections and alleging that his government was removed through a foreign (US) conspiracy.
In his speeches, Khan has been criticizing his political opponents – the incumbent coalition government, and the “neutrals” – a nomenclature he has coined for the powerful military establishment after it had announced against interference in politics.
Recently, the PTI chief found himself in another controversy after accusing the former three-time prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and ex-president, Asif Zardari, for trying to bring in their favourites as the next army chief to shield their corruption cases.
Khan’s remarks drew strong reaction from the army, which said it is “aghast” at the ex-PM’s remarks and called his comments “defamatory and uncalled for”.

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