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Thursday May 19, 2022

Defamation suit: IHC allows Khawaja Asif's counsel to cross-examine PM Imran Khan

Justice Minallah orders trial court to hear the case on a daily basis and set a two-month time frame for the decision

By Web Desk
January 20, 2022
PML-N’s senior leader Khawaja Asif (L) and Prime Minister Imran Khan (R). Photo: file
PML-N’s senior leader Khawaja Asif (L) and Prime Minister Imran Khan (R). Photo: file   

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court Thursday granted PML-N leader Khawaja Asif's counsel the right to cross-examine Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan in the defamation case.

Imran Khan had filed a Rs10 billion defamation suit against Khawaja Asif in 2012 over allegations about the misappropriation of funds of Shaukat Khanam Memorial Trust (SKMT). Asif had moved the IHC challenging Additional District and Session Judge Muhammad Adnan's ruling to abolish the defendant's right to conduct cross-examination of PM Imran Khan's statement.

During today’s hearing, the IHC bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, allowed Khawaja Asif the right for his legal team to cross-examine the prime minister.

Justice Minallah ordered the trial court to hear the case on a daily basis and set a two-month time frame for the decision.

During the previous hearing on January 4, the IHC had sought Prime Minister Imran Khan’s response in the defamation case against the senior PML-N leader.

Asif's counsel had informed the court that the trial court ruled out their right to conduct a cross-examination.

The verdict in the defamation case should have been announced within two months of its filing, the court had remarked, expressing displeasure over the delay.