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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume the hearing of a contempt case against former minister of state for interior Muhammad Tallal Chaudhry on Tuesday (June 19).

He is accused of making derogatory and contemptuous speeches and statements against the Supreme Court at public gatherings, which were telecast by several television channels.

At the last hearing on May 24, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, led by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had postponed proceedings till after the Eid holidays. They had done so reluctantly at the time, as the court wanted to record the testimony of 15 defence witnesses out of a total 17.

Two defence witnesses from the list presented by Mr Chaudhry had earlier recorded their testimonies before the court.

Ex-minister has already been indicted in January

Additional Attorney General Muhammad Waqar Rana had appeared as a prosecutor at the time, but after he was removed from the post, another law officer from the office of the attorney general is expected to appear as the prosecutor in the case. Senior counsel Kamran Murtaza is defending the PML-N leader.

Earlier, Senator Musadaq Malik and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA from Faisalabad Israr Ahmed Khan had recorded their statements, in which they had separately emphasised their impression that Mr Chaudhry had not uttered any controversial remarks that could be construed as derogatory or contemptuous towards the courts at the public meeting in Jaranwala, on Jan 27.

They informed the court that they had arrived at the venue of the public meeting before the chief guest, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and had stayed at the venue till the meeting concluded, slightly before the Maghrib prayers.

The minister has already been indicted for contempt against court and for inciting hatred against the judiciary in speeches made on Jan 1 and Jan 27.

The list of defence witnesses that Mr Chaudhry presented in court include former adviser to the prime minister Musadaq Malik, former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, former MNAs Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani, Shahbaz Babar and Nadeem Abbas, senior banker Hassan Aurangzeb Abbasi, Transporters Association president Israr Khan, Faisalabad Bar ex-president Ali Abbas Khan, Zaheer Iqbal, Municipal Corporation Jaranwala Vice Chairman Sheikh Habib, Rakhsha Association president Atta Muhammad, Jaranwala Municipal Corporation Councillor Imtiaz Khan, Abdul Sattar, Tanvir Hussain, Qadir Qaiser and Pemra Broadcast Operations General Manager Muhammad Tahir.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2018