Saturday June 15, 2024

PTI leaders, including Imran Khan, acquitted in two cases

"No evidence of vandalism found against PTI founder during long march," Imran Khan's lawyer says

By Arfa Feroz Zake
May 20, 2024
Police escort former Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. — AFP
Police escort former Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and other leaders of his party Monday were acquitted by a district and sessions court in two cases pertaining to the long march vandalism cases.

Other PTI leaders who were acquitted in the cases included Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari, Zartaj Gul, Ali Nawaz Awan, Faisal Javed,  Qasim Suri, Raja Khurram Nawaz and Saifullah Niazi.

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad also received acquittal from the court.

The cases against Khan and other politicians were registered in the Kohsar and Karachi Company police stations for violation of Section 144, while the verdict was issued during the hearing of acquittal pleas filed by them.

The verdict on the acquittal of Khan, Qureshi, Rashid, Awan, Suri, Nawaz was issued by Judicial Magistrate Shahzad Khan for case registered at Kohsar police station.

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate Mureed Abbas announced the reserved decision on the acquittal plea of Khan, Qureshi, Mazari, Niazi, Umar, Gul, Awan, Javed and Nawaz against the case filed in the Karachi Company police station.

The court had earlier reserved its verdict in the long march vandalism case.

Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjotha, speaking with journalists in the federal capital, said that the cases against PTI founder were based on political vengeance.

"No evidence of vandalism found against PTI founder during the long march," he said, adding that the Islamabad administration did not issue any notification to enforce Section 144 in the capital city.

Various cases of the same nature have been registered against the PTI founder and he has been acquitted in several cases pertaining to the long march, the counsel added.

He also noted that other political leaders were also acquitted in the vandalism cases.

The development comes days after a district and sessions court, on May 15, acquitted Khan in two cases pertaining to the May 9 vandalism.

Khan, who remains behind bars in Adiala jail, and several others including some PTI leaders are facing various allegations in the cases related to the violence following his arrest on May 9.

Islamabad High Court (IHC), on May 16, had also approved PTI founder's bail petition in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement reference.