Islamabad High Court hears Imran Khan’s pre-arrest bail hearing in graft case

The Islamabad High Court is hearing Imran Khan's pre-arrest bail plea after the Supreme Court invalidated the former prime minister's arrest.

Islamabad High Court hears Imran Khan's pre-arrest bail hearing in graft case

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan is attending a pre-arrest bail hearing in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday, May 12th, a day after the Supreme Court of the country invalidated his arrest. The former prime minister was arrested from the IHC compound when he reached there for a hearing on Tuesday, May 9th.

While the IHC had upheld his arrest on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overruled it as “invalid and unlawful” on Thursday. The apex court had ordered the police to release Khan and keep him under the Supreme Court’s custody until the hearing at 11am Islamabad time on Friday.

A bench of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz is hearing the pre-arrest bail petition of Khan in courtroom 2 of the IHC. It’s reported that Khan’s lawyers have also filed additional pleas urging the court to club all the cases against Khan and to order authorities to provide details of the cases registered against him.

The government has accused Khan of corruption in the Al-Qadir Trust case, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and others. It’s alleged that Khan and Bibi accepted Pakistani Rs 5bn for whitewashing Rs 50bn that was returned by the UK during his tenure.

Khan has claimed innocence in the case and accused the government led by arch-rivals Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) [PML(N)] and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of running a witch-hunt to malign him to bar him from contesting the general elections due later this year.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party has been staging a nationwide protest, which turned violent in several places prompting the government to mobilise the armed forces and paramilitary troops to quell the agitation. The PTI leaders and supporters ransacked military barracks and set ablaze military facilities, accusing the Pakistan Army of playing a pivotal role in Khan’s arrest and alleged torture in custody.

Amid Khan’s hearing in the IHC, PTI’s lawyer Babar Awan alleged that a team of the Punjab Police has been sent to Islamabad from Lahore to arrest Khan in new cases if he manages to get a pre-arrest bail in the Al-Qadir Trust case. Awan alleged that the PML(N) and PPP fear Khan and don’t want him to stay out of jail.

The authorities have imposed Section 144 in Islamabad to manage the law and order situation and desist PTI workers from staging demonstrations. However, the PTI supporters gathered at the Srinagar Highway in Islamabad’s G-13 to express solidarity with Khan. It has also been reported that PTI supporters raised slogans in the courtroom during Khan’s hearing.

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