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Friday June 21, 2024

Imran Khan charged with criminal conspiracy in May 9 cases

Investigation official says evidence of inciting mutiny and planning vandalism had been found against PTI chief

By our correspondents
September 21, 2023
Former Pakistans Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks during an interview with AFP at his residence in Lahore on May 18, 2023. AFP
Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks during an interview with AFP at his residence in Lahore on May 18, 2023. AFP

LAHORE/RAWALPINDI: In the latest development to the probe into the May 9 riots, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and all others nominated as suspects have been charged with “criminal conspiracy” under additional charges included to the related cases, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Investigation, Anoosh Masood, said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, she said that nine additional sections pertaining to treason have been included in the challans for the cases of vandalism and violence that erupted after the deposed prime minister’s arrest in the infamous £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) UK settlement case on May 9, against all the suspects including Khan.

The investigation official said evidence of inciting mutiny and planning vandalism had been found against the PTI chief.

“Section 120(B) [pertaining to punishment of criminal conspiracy] of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) has been added to all the cases related to the May 9 incidents,” Masood said.

She further added that all the objections raised by the prosecution have been removed before the submission of the case challans in the court.

The former premier, who was removed through a parliamentary vote in April last year, has been grilled by a special Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the May 9 rampage almost across the country after permission granted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).

Khan, who remains behind bars in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Attock 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.

The riots also led to the deaths of at least eight people and injured several others, prompting the authorities to arrest thousands of PTI workers and followers. Hundreds of party workers and senior leaders were put behind bars for their involvement in violence and attacks on military installations.

During the protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations, including the Jinnah House and General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military termed May 9 a “Black Day” and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.

To probe Khan for the violence that ensued, the police had added incitement to mutiny and an attempt to wage war among other provisions on August 18 as per the case diary, after which they contacted the anti-terrorism court seeking permission to investigate the PTI chief.

The court’s judge, Ejaz Ahmad Buttar, consequently, issued an order at the request of the police.

The other offences include 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 153-B (Inducing students, etc, take part in political activity), 146 (Rioting), 131 (Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 121 (Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against Pakistan), 121-A (Conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), 120-A (Definition of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 107 (Abetment of a thing).

Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has prepared another corruption case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.

According to sources, the PTI chairman is accused of misusing the funds collected through telethon in August 2022. Sources say that Rs4.32 billion were collected, in which there is an allegation of scams worth crores of rupees.

Sources said the NAB headquarters has received a request for approval of the inquiry. Sources said that NAB Rawalpindi has confirmed the complaint of the case and requested to turn it into an inquiry. It should be noted that former prime minister Imran Khan is currently imprisoned in the Attock Jail on judicial remand in the cipher case.