An Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) extended PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan’s interim bail till September 12 in connection with the terrorism case registered him.
The court also directed the PTI leader to submit Rs100,000 as surety.
Imran was booked in a terrorism case for his controversial remarks about a female judge at a party rally in the capital on Aug 20. Last week, the Islamabad ATC had granted Imran interim pre-arrest bail till Sept 1 (today) in the case.
ATC Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan took up the case on Thursday amid elaborate security arrangements. The hearing commenced around 10am but was adjourned for a brief period after the court summoned the PTI leader at 12pm.
When the hearing resumed, Imran’s lawyer, Babar Awan pointed out that the PTI leader had appeared before the court in line with its directives.
The judge questioned the prosecutor about the new charges added against Imran, especially Section 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
“Tell us, do any charges remain to be added,” Awan quipped. The prosecutor replied that he would give an explanation when he presented his arguments.
The court stated that all charges, apart from the terrorism offence, were bailable charges. The judge subsequently extended Imran’s bail till September 12, adding that he would hear arguments at the next hearing.
More charges against Imran
Awan appeared before the judge around 10am and was prepared to give his arguments.
However, the judge remarked that Imran would have to appear before the court. The hearing was then adjourned till 12pm as the PTI chief was summoned.
During the hearing, the court was told that four new sections had been added to the FIR against Imran, namely 186 (offence of obstructing public servant in the execution of public duty), 504 (criminal intimidation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Awan contended that the former premier should be granted bail for these charges, to which the judge replied that notices would be issued instead.
Speaking to the media outside the courtroom, Awan said that the PTI had submitted two detailed responses to the court. He said that the government, the Islamabad IG and DIG would be responsible if something happens to the PTI leader.
“On one hand, they are removing security […] yesterday Imran went to court […] his security was made to wait outside.” He went on to say that a “threat letter” was received at Banigala which stated that some people wanted to harm the PTI chief. “We have kept the threat letter with our submissions in court.”
Awan went on to say that more charges had been added to the case. “The judge said he [Imran] should appear. It’s not like he’s in Mayfair. He’s in Banigala. I told the judge I will bring him (Imran) at 12pm.”
‘False cases against Imran must be withdrawn’
Speaking to the media after the hearing concluded, Awan reiterated that four new charges had been added against Imran.
Awan said the government’s “get Imran” agenda had failed, adding “they still have time to withdraw false cases, otherwise we will take legal action against them.”
He also underlined that the PTI chief was facing serious security threats and the government had also informed the party in writing about it.
Meanwhile, PTI’s Asad Umar said the government was ridiculing Pakistan at an international level by filing cases against Imran.
“They have realised it is impossible to face him politically. Hence they are trying to frame false charges and cases against him,” Umar said.
At the Islamabad rally on August 20, Imran had warned the judiciary against its “biased” attitude towards his party, saying that it should brace itself for the consequences.
The former prime minister had also warned additional district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved the two-day physical remand of his aide Shahbaz Gill’s on the request of the capital police in a sedition case, that she, too, would face dire consequences.
Moreover, the PTI chief had threatened to file cases against Islamabad’s inspector general of police and deputy inspector general of police, saying, “We won’t spare you.”
Subsequently, Imran was booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) on Sunday for “threatening” a female judge and senior police officers.
Islamabad police had also registered another case against the former prime and other top leaders of the PTI for allegedly violating of Section 144 while holding the August 20 rally.