- ATC postpones announcement of verdict on PTI chief’s acquittal plea
ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Wednesday postponed the announcement of the verdict on an acquittal plea by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, while warning him of issuing arrest orders if he failed to appear during the next hearing in a case pertaining to an attack on then Islamabad senior superintendent of police operations Asmatullah Junejo during sit-ins in 2014.
ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand issued these directives after the PTI chief failed to appear before the court during Wednesday’s proceedings, despite being summoned at the last hearing.
As Shahrukh Arjumand resumed the case, counsel for Khan submitted an application seeking exemption from appearance for his client, subsequently, the court rejected the plea and ordered the accused to appear in court in person today.
Later, the court accepted the plea and warned the PTI chief that an arrest warrant would be issued if he did not attend the next hearing, scheduled for May 4.
Earlier, the court had confirmed Khan’s pre-arrest bail in cases pertaining to the attack on Junejo and the PTV and parliament buildings as well as a violation of the loudspeaker act during the 2014 sit-in.
Political leaders and over a hundred workers and supporters of the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were booked in the cases. The workers, who were arrested, were later released on bail.
On August 31, 2014, in an attempt to topple the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, the PTI and PAT workers had marched on parliament and the PM House while clashing with policemen along the way.
On September 1, 2014, hundreds of men, allegedly protesters from the PTI and PAT camps, ransacked the PTV office, parliament premises and brutally beat up Junejo, less than 24 hours into his first day of job as SSP operations.
Khan, PAT chief Tahirul Qadri and several others were booked for their alleged involvement in the attacks.