Pakistani court acquits Imran Khan of two counts of vandalism

Judge asked if Imran had been acquitted in previous cases (file)

Islamabad:

In a relief to former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, a judge in Islamabad on Tuesday acquitted him of two cases of vandalism at the Long March, The Express Tribune reported.

On May 27, 2022, 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 and Asad Qaiser, on charges of Arson and vandalism in the federal capital a day earlier.

Justice Shaista Kundi announced the verdict earlier in the day. However, the court rejected the request to produce the PTI founder before the court.

The Pakistan-based news newspaper reported that Imran Khan’s lawyer Naeem Panjotha said during the hearing that all cases against the ex-prime minister were limited to the extent of intimation. He was charged in several similar cases in one day. The complainant in this case is an SHO and he has no authority to file a case. The case also does not contain any witness statements, he added.

The judge asked whether Imran Kahn had been acquitted in previous cases, to which the lawyer replied in the affirmative.

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

In the case against the PTI founder and others, the recordings from the Safe City cameras and those from private television news channels were included as evidence in the complaint. At least 39 people were arrested after they were identified from the footage.

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

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

The SI said 36 people were “brought under control” at the behest of Imran and other PTI leaders.

In May 2022, ImranKhan launched a march towards Islamabad to overthrow the coalition government that had seized power after he was ousted as prime minister following a no-confidence vote.

The rally was part of the PTI’s fight for “real freedom” and liberation of 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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