Tuesday July 16, 2024

ATC rejects Imran Khan's interim bail pleas in May 9 cases

Judge Khalid Arshad announces verdict on bail pleas concerning Jinnah House, Askari Tower vandalism cases

By Naveen Ali
July 10, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khan appearing at the Lahore High Court on March 17, 2023. — AFP
PTI founder Imran Khan appearing at the Lahore High Court on March 17, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan's pleas for interim bail were rejected in three cases related to the May 9 violent protests on Tuesday.

Judge Khalid Arshad of an anti-terrorism court in Lahore announced the verdict today that he reserved three days ago after hearing Khan's interim bail pleas related to vandalism of Jinnah House, Askari Tower and Shadman Police Station during the violent protest last year.

The May 9 mayhem refers to the riots that broke out in many parts of the country last year following the ex-PM's arrest in a corruption case. On that day, the alleged PTI supporters attacked several state buildings including military installations, prompting the civil and military authorities to try the rioters under the Army Act.

The deposed prime minister, who was ousted from power via the opposition's no-confidence motion in April 2022, has been facing multiple charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal as premier.

He has been behind bars since August last year after he was sentenced in the Toshakhana case and subsequently sentenced in other cases ahead of the February 8 elections.

Khan secured relief in other cases, including £190 million reference and Toshakhana, and was acquitted in the cipher case last month.

However, he remains behind bars due to his conviction in the iddat (un-Islamic nikah) case only.

Pleading before Lahore's ATC today, the government demanded Khan's arrest in all three cases, including the Jinnah House case, saying his arrest was required for interrogation.

The former premier along with his spouse Bushra Bibi is currently serving a seven-year jail term each at Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail after the couple was convicted in the iddat case on February 3, 2024.

The rejection of bail pleas comes as PTI is hoping for Khan's release from prison this month as the district and sessions court in Islamabad is expected to announce a verdict on the PTI founder's main appeal challenging conviction in the iddat case.

Last month, the sessions court turned down the pleas of the ex-premier and his wife to suspend their seven-year sentences in the iddat case.