An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Friday extended PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s bail in cases linked to May 9 violence, including the vandalism of Jinnah House and Askari Tower.
At least eight people were killed and as many as 290 were injured on May 9 after the PTI chief was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in the Al-Qadir Trust case. The protesters had also stormed the residence of the corps commander in Lahore — also called Jinnah House — and tore down a gate of General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Subsequently, over 1,900 enraged protesters were rounded up in running battles with law enforcers across the country. Cases were also registered against Imran and his party workers.
On May 19, Judge Ijaz Ahmad Buttar had granted bail to the former prime minister in the three cases till June 2, subject to furnishing surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.
At the outset of the hearing today, the judge directed Imran to come to the rostrum. “I was told the reasons why you are not joining the probe … but now you have to become a part of the investigation,” he stressed.
For his part, Imran told the judge that there were threats to his life.
At that, PTI chief’s lawyer Salman Safdar said that Imran was ready to join the probe but requested that all the cases should be fixed for hearing on the same day. “I will complete the arguments in all three cases,” he assured the court.
Safdar further requested that all the cases be fixed for hearing on June 20, promising that Imran would join the probe the day court issued the order.
Subsequently, Judge Buttar allowed Imran to leave and extended his bail.
LHC extends Imran’s bail in Zille Shah murder case
After the ATC, the PTI chief also appeared before the Lahore High Court (LHC) for the hearing on his bail petition in a case linked to concealing facts and evidence about the death of a PTI worker, Zille Shah, in a road accident.
Imran arrived at the court amid tight security. A video posted on PTI’s official Twitter account showed his vehicle surrounded by a huge contingent of security personnel outside the LHC.
Justice Anwarul Haq Pannun heard the case and extended his bail till June 6 as the former prime minister joined the probe and recorded his statement with the police.
Earlier, the LHC had granted Imran bail in the case till June 2.
During the brief hearing, the judge asked the investigating officer (IO) if Imran had been made a part of the investigations into the murder to which the latter replied that the PTI chief had not yet joined the probe.
The court then ordered the IO to record Imran’s statement after the hearing. “Ask him whatever questions you want to,” Justice Pannun said.
Here, the government’s counsel said that the statement could not be recorded in the presence of the petitioner’s lawyers.
“Will you answer the questions they ask you?” the judge asked Imran. The PTI chief responded by saying: “Yes, I am absolutely ready.”
Subsequently, the court extended Imran’s bail till June 6.
Following the proceedings, the ex-premier joined the probe and recorded his statement with the police.