Former prime minister Imran Khan is taken into a vehicle by police as they arrest him, in Islamabad, Pakistan May 9, 2023. — Reuters

Imran Khan’s hearing to take place at location of his custody

by Pakistan News
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Former prime minister Imran Khan is taken into a vehicle by police as they arrest him, in Islamabad, Pakistan May 9, 2023. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Former prime minister Imran Khan will not be brought to court and his scheduled hearing on Wednesday will take place at the location where he was under custody, police said.

The former prime minister was arrested on Tuesday by Rangers on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an autonomous anti-graft agency, in relation to Al-Qadir Trust case — involving a land deal.

He was then moved to its headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi for questioning.

Khan’s arrest in a surprise move from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises sparked violent clashes across the country during which hundreds of party workers were detained including former federal minister Ali Zaidi.

Later, announcing the reserved verdict on Khan’s arrest, the IHC said that the arrest was legal; therefore, Khan’s legal team intends to challenge his arrest in the Supreme Court today.

Khan, instead of being taken to F-8 Court Complex and Judicial Complex G 11/4, will be presented at New Police Guest House, Police Lines — which has been given one-time status of the court for this particular hearing, a notification issued by the Government of Pakistan read.

The decision to present Khan at a special court instead of a NAB court was taken in view of security threats to his life. According to sources, the PTI chief was also shifted to an unknown place late night from NAB’s office.

“[…] the Provincial Government, as a one-time dispensation, is pleased to declare New Police Guest House, Police Lines Headquarters H 11/1, Islamabad, the venue for hearing of case titled ‘District Election Commissioner Vs Imran Khan Niazi’ and for the appearance of Mr Imran Khan Niazi before Honorable Judge Accountability Court – I, Islamabad on 10th May 2023, instead of F-8 Court Complex, Islamabad and Judicial Complex G 11/4, Islamabad,” notification issued by the provincial government, ICT read.

Police officials have also clarified that entry access to special court will be granted to people according to the court list, while the permission for coverage depends on the judges.

Protests erupt

As news of Khan’s arrest spread, his supporters in several cities took to the streets and clashed with security forces, who fired tear gas and tried to beat them back. Videos circulated on social media — which was also down in several parts of the country — showed some supporters wielding sticks and face masks entering the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi and shouting angry slogans.

The cricketer-turned-politician faces a slew of court cases and is also set to be formally indicted today in a case that involved allegations he did not properly disclose earnings from the sale of state gifts from his time in office — Toshakhana case.

He will be presented before the accountability and magistrate court simultaneously and for the first time judges will go for the hearing at the guest house.

This is a developing story and is being updated with more details…

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