Imran granted exemption from appearing in Toshakhana case

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in the federal capital approved a plea by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Thursday, seeking exemption from appearing in the foreign gifts, or Toshakhana, case.

The ruling was announced by Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal, after hearing arguments from both the former prime minister’s legal team and prosecutor Amjad Parvez in the case.

During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer filed an exemption plea for three days, citing the ongoing three-day-long protest by the Islamabad bar. Parvez argued that the PTI chief should have appeared before the court, even if his lawyers wanted to join the protest, and that it was necessary for the suspect to ensure his attendance in court during the trial.

In response, Khan’s lawyer, Khawaja Haris Ahmad, said his client was facing security threats, and the government had also withdrawn his security. Ahmad argued that Khan was not present in court due to security reasons and requested that the PTI chairman be allowed to attend the hearing via video link.

The judge accepted the exemption plea and adjourned the hearing until April 29, after accepting that Khan was not able to appear due to valid security concerns.

Meanwhile, Khan’s lawyers also filed a petition challenging the admissibility of the Toshakhana case and will submit their arguments during the next hearing. In the previous hearing, the court had suspended Khan’s arrest warrants after he appeared before the judge in the case.

Last year, a reference was filed against Khan by lawmakers from the ruling coalition, accusing him of not sharing details of gifts he retained from Toshakhana in his asset declarations.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) concluded in October of last year that Khan had filed false statements regarding the gifts. The tribunal subsequently disqualified him for being dishonest and corrupt and approached the district and sessions court, seeking criminal proceedings against Khan for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts.


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