Pakistan court grants interim bail to former PM Imran Khan

Hours after a speech, Imran Khan was booked for threatening police, judiciary and other state institutions at his rally

October 03, 2022 03:04 am | Updated 03:04 am IST - Islamabad:

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan. | Photo Credit: Reuters

A Pakistani court on Sunday granted interim bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan until Friday, a day after a local magistrate issued arrest warrants for him in a case about threatening a female judge.

During a rally in Islamabad on August 20, Mr. Khan had threatened to file cases against top police officials, election commission and political opponents over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested on charges of sedition.

He had also taken exception to Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the Capital Territory Police, and said she should "prepare herself as action would be taken against her".

Hours after the speech, Mr. Khan, 69, was booked for threatening police, judiciary and other state institutions at his rally.

A local magistrate on Saturday issued the arrest warrants on the request of the police and it was rumoured that police was planning to raid his Banigala residence to arrest him.

Mr. Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan approached the Islamabad High Court with a petition seeking cancellation of the arrest warrant.

The High Court opened its doors despite the weekend and a bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was constituted to hear the petition challenging the arrest warrant.

Subsequently, a chamber hearing commenced on Mr. Khan's request and the court granted interim bail against Rs 10,000 bond. It also ordered Mr. Khan to appear in a local court before October 7.

Initially, Mr. Khan was booked under terrorism laws but the charges were deleted on the directive of the Islamabad High Court and the case was transferred from an anti-terrorism court to a normal sessions court.

The bail granted to him by the anti-terrorism case also became ineffective after the case was transferred to sessions court.

Police said he failed to attend the last court hearing on the matter and the arrest warrant was issued to ensure his presence.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told the Geo News on Saturday that Khan was not being arrested and the arrest warrant was routine and bailable. “It is [for] a bailable crime. There is no question of arrest,” the interior minister said.

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