A Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) extended incarcerated PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s physical remand by nine days in eight cases related to the violence that erupted in the country after party founder Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 last year, it emerged on Tuesday.

Qureshi’s lawyer advocate Rana Mudassar told Dawn.com that the remand was granted on extension requests by the police for eight cases.

Countrywide protests erupted on May 9 last year after the paramilitary Rangers whisked away Imran from the Islamabad High Court in a corruption case.

While the protests were underway, social media was flooded with footage of rioting and vandalism at various spots, including the Lahore Corps Commander’s residence and General Headquarters, the army’s head of office in Rawalpindi.

Qureshi in December was implicated in at least 12 different cases registered by the Rawalpindi district police in connection with the May 9 violence. Qureshi was granted bail in 13 cases in February. He is currently serving his sentence in the Adiala Jail in the cipher case.

ATC Judge Khalid Arshad presided over the hearing on Monday. The court order dated May 27, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said Qureshi was produced via video link for the case on Friday when the court had initially granted police a three-day remand which lapsed on Sunday.

It added that the police requested an extension in Qureshi’s physical remand by 30 days in Monday’s hearing with the investigation officer (IO) saying that the USB containing “provoking speech” by the PTI leader was sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency while photogrammetry and voice matching tests were still pending.

He contended that the police required an extension to recover the mobile phone used by Qureshi to allegedly post inciting messages on X and other social media platforms.

Qureshi’s lawyer advocate Rana Mudassar opposed the request and said that the former foreign minister was falsely implicated in the case to delay his release from Adiala Jail.

He said that Qureshi was not present in Lahore on the day of the incident, and neither any video or USB was available to support the IO’s claims.

As per the court order, Qureshi himself asserted that he was implicated in the case after a year to “humiliate him” and that he was innocent in the matter.

According to the order, two prosecution witnesses had implicated Qureshi on May 12 last year in the planning, abetment and instigation of the incident’s occurrence.

The court order said the photogrammetry and voice matching tests were “essential to ascertain the credibility” of the evidence in the case and thus granted a further physical remand of nine days to the police, adding that the investigation must not be interrupted in the interest of justice.

The hearing was adjourned till June 5.

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