PTI chief granted one-day exemption in Toshakhana trial

ISLAMABAD:

A trial court in Islamabad granted on Saturday one-day exemption to former prime minister Imran Khan from appearing in the Toshakhana case.

The court had resumed proceedings on a criminal complaint filed against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) pertaining to alleged concealing of details about state gifts.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar accepted the PTI chief’s plea for exemption while directing him to ensure his presence before the court on Monday (July 24).

Submitting the plea for exemption, the defendant’s lawyer Barrister Gohar Ali requested the court to adjourn proceedings till Monday.

The ECP’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz objected to the plea arguing that no reasons have been submitted for absence from court. The accused should be present before the court during trial, he contended.

Read Trial court’s decision in Toshakhana case challenged

Advocate Pervaiz informed the court that the PTI chairperson has been summoned by the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday. He moved the court to direct the former PM to submit an affidavit that he will appear for the proceedings in this case after his hearing before the apex court.

During the hearing Judge Dilawar observed that there was nothing in the case file except for the exemption plea. He expressed annoyance at an objection raised by one of Imran’s lawyers at hearings being conducted on a daily basis.

“Your exemption pleas have always been accepted even though the accused has not appeared before the court even once,” remarked the judge.

Directing the PTI chief to ensure his presence before the court after his appearance before the SC, the judge adjourned proceedings till Monday (July 24).

At the previous hearing, held a day prior, the court had recorded the statements of two prosecution witnesses over which the PTI chief’s lawyer Khawaja Haris was expected to begin cross-examination today.

Meanwhile, the PTI chief was unable to acquire immediate relief from the Islamabad High Court and obtain a stay on the trial.

Instead, the IHC issued a notice on the injunction request and adjourned the hearing till next week.


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