close
Tuesday April 23, 2024

Imran given bail, allowed to appear via video link in terror case

Court extends Khan's bail in two cases after the police informed the court that arrest was not required in third case

By Numan Wahab
April 14, 2023
Security personnel use a bulletproof shield to protect former prime minister Imran Khan as he leaves after appearing at the high court in Lahore on March 17, 2023. — AFP
Security personnel use a bulletproof shield to protect former prime minister Imran Khan as he leaves after appearing at the high court in Lahore on March 17, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday granted one-time permission to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to appear via video link in a terrorism case.

The court also extended the bail of Imran and other PTI leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, Ijaz Chaudhry, Mehmood ur Rasheed and Hammad Azhar till May 4.

The former prime minister did not appear before the ATC despite being directed to come to the court. Later, at the request of Imran’s lawyers, the PTI chief was allowed to attend the hearing via video link.

The PTI chief had filed petitions for bail in three FIRs registered with the Race Course Police Station under the anti-terror laws. As the hearing commenced, the counsel of Imran implored the court to allow his client to attend the court proceedings via video link. Khan’s counsel further urged the court to give a date after Eid ul Fitr, which is expected to fall on April 21 and 22. The counsel argued that the PTI chief had been receiving threats and his life was at risk. The court questioned what would happen if the police required Imran to be arrested. The counsel argued that Imran would surrender if it was required and would also join the investigation. Then the judge asked what remarkable achievements Imran had made to receive such threats, adding that former premiers Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others were moving routinely. The counsel argued that the police still faced the stain of the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He further said that Imran had appeared before the courts when there was no danger but this time there were reports of snipers. However, the state law officer strongly opposed the arguments extended by Imran’s counsel.

The officer said that he knew nothing about such threats and police officials could explain the situation. The court remarked that Imran could be handed over to the police and security would be the responsibility of the Punjab caretaker government. However, Imran’s counsel argued that it would be wrong to deprive his client of his right to freedom, adding that the Constitution granted the right of liberty to its citizens. The court, after hearing the arguments, reserved its verdict for a while. Later, the court allowed Imran to mark his attendance through a video link and extended his interim bail till May 4 in three cases.